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China Coal Output Jumps to Multi-Year High, Prices Likely to Fall

Daily coal output hit 11.93 million tonnes last week, a multi-year high as more capacity returned, China’s state planner said on Monday, as it tries to fill a supply shortage ahead of winter

Chinese coal industry groups have called on miners to increase production as power consumption has surged this summer amid a heatwave north of the Yangtze.
China relies on coal for 60% of its electricity. The country faced a large-scale power outage in late 2021 that caused widespread factory shutdowns. File photo: Reuters.


China‘s daily coal output hit 11.93 million tonnes last week, a multi-year high as more capacity returned to operation, the state planner said in a statement on Monday, as Beijing tries to fill a supply shortage ahead of winter.

On Sunday, China‘s State Grid Corp warned of a “tight balance” between power supply and winter demand, even after an energy crunch eased following measures to boost coal supplies and get large users to cut back on electricity.

Average daily coal output for November 1-5 reached 11.66 million tonnes, up by 1.2 million tonnes from end-September, logging 11.93 million tonnes for one of the days during the period, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

Coal inventories have also gained. Stockpiles at power plants exceeded 117 million tonnes as of Saturday, the NDRC said, while portside inventories gained nearly 1.5 million tonnes from over a month ago to 5.39 million tonnes on Sunday November 7.

“With more coal capacity to be released and production to continue to increase … coal prices are expected to continue to decline steadily,” the NDRC said.

The most-traded thermal coal futures contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange fell 3% to 920 yuan ($143.79) per tonne as of 0215 GMT.

China‘s coal futures have plunged 52% since a historical high of 1,908 yuan per tonne on October 19.



• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.


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