Amid an inactive economy, China’s coal imports plunged and shipments of other commodities generally eased in comparison with the stage last year.
China's exports fell 6.4% for the month, while imports toppled by a deeper-than-expected 16.2%, providing further evidence that Beijing will quickly roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper economic slowdown.
China’s coal imports fell 26% from a year ago, extending a sharp scaleback in quarter one due to weak demand, sufficient domestic supplies and tighter environmental controls.
"Demand for thermal coal is terribly weak, while domestic supplies are plentiful," said a Beijing-based coal trader.
Thermal power generation, largely fired by coal, dropped almost 4% in the first quarter of the year, as China’s economy shifted away from energy-guzzling sectors and boosted cleaner fuels such as hydro, nuclear and wind.
Edited from source by Joseph Green
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