China imported 5.06 million mt of thermal coal in February, down 13.6% on the year and 13.2% below January to the lowest monthly volume since April 2011, according to data Tuesday from the General Administration of Customs.
The volume included 3.75 million mt of bituminous material and 1.31 million mt of sub-bituminous coal, but excluded imports of lower CV lignite material.
During the first two months of 2016, China imported 10.9 million mt of thermal coal, down 20.1% from a year ago.
Australia remained the largest shipper of thermal coal to China at 2.54 million mt, with the volume dropping 22% on the year but remaining steady month-on-month.
Imports from Indonesia were 1.78 million mt, up 5% year-on-year but down 16% from January to an eight-month low.
China's imports of Russian thermal coal slipped back below 1 million mt to 729,020 mt in February, up 6% on the year but 28.6% lower than January's one-year high.
Total lignite imports in February were steady on the year at 3.79 million mt, but fell 9% from January's four-month high. Of the total, 3.25 million mt was received from Indonesia.