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 River.
The groups urged producers to make emergency supply guarantee plans, state media reported, and said production should be ramped up to prevent mass power outages.
Analysts have noted that the recent production surge has led some mines to prioritise quantity over quality, in order to meet government quotas.
The country relies on coal for 60% of its electricity. China faced a large-scale power outage in late 2021 that caused widespread factory shutdowns.
The demand in the north has partially been offset by heavy rains across southern provinces, which has not only slowed Chinese coal consumption growth but also has boosted hydroelectricity generation to a record high.
As a result, the Chinese coal supply is likely to be enough heading into this winter than last.
Generation From All Sources Declines
Generation from all sources was down 3%-4% in April and May compared with the same months in 2021, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
Generation has declined year-on-year in only 12 of the last 131 months; this was the first back-to-back decline since the first wave of the epidemic in 2020, illustrating the impact lockdowns have had on the economy.
Output in the first five months as a whole totalled 3,248 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), an increase of just 71 billion kWh (2.2%) from the same period in 2021.
Nearly all of the increase came from hydro-electric generators, which boosted output by 66 billion kWh compared with 2021, according to data compiled by Reuters.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell