May 23, 2017 / 7:56 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-China coal imports from Russia, Australia rise in April after ban on N.Korea cargoes

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* Australia supplies +44.6 pct from yr before at 8.3 mln tonnes

* Indonesia imports +15 pct at 3.60 mln tonnes

* No North Korea imports for second month

* Russia imports +97 pct at 2.53 mln tonnes (Adds comment, detail)

BEIJING, May 23 (Reuters) - Chinese coal imports from Australia and Russia jumped in April, as the world's top buyer of the commodity rushed to find alternative supplies following its ban on North Korean imports.

China's coal imports from Australia jumped 44.6 percent in April from a year earlier to 8.3 million tonnes, the highest since August 2016, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday.

Russian arrivals last month almost doubled from a year earlier to 2.53 million tonnes, the greatest since May 2014, customs said.

"The jump in Australia shipments reflects strong appetite from utilities to fill in stock after Lunar New Year. Orders for April arrivals were made two months ahead in February, which was a high-demand and low-stock season," said Zhang Xiaojin, coal analyst at Everbright Futures.

North Korea shipped zero coal for a second straight month, the customs data showed. A year ago, China imported 1.53 million tonnes of coal from the country.

Neighbouring China is North Korea's biggest trade partner and the source of much of its badly needed foreign currency.

Chinese coal imports from Canada were 800,818 tonnes last month, up 66 percent from last year, the data showed.

Mongolian shipments gained 80 percent to 3.57 million tonnes, while Indonesian imports climbed 15 percent from a year ago to 3.60 million tonnes. (Reporting by Meng Meng and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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