Total coal imports fell nearly 31% year-on-year to 14 million tonnes.
“While the data isn’t broken out into coal type, we suspect the weakness could be attributed to metallurgical coal, in line with the downturn in steel and iron ore markets,” ANZ said.
“This all suggests weaker steel production for October.”
In September, China’s steel production contracted 2.1% to 66.1Mt.
There was a sharp broad-based fall in commodity imports in China in October.
“This flags some headwinds for commodities,” ANZ said. “Weak commodity prices are not inducing the opportunistic buying we have seen in the past.
“Export-driven demand also appears to be slowing.”