China Dec coal output hits 1-year high after Beijing order


China’s December coal output rose 1 percent from November to hit its highest level in a year, as miners ramped up output to meet government orders amid increased demand from utilities during the cold winter months, data showed.

Notching up a third straight monthly increase, miners produced 311 million tonnes of coal, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That was down 3 percent year on year.

For the full year, coal production fell 9 percent from a year ago to 3.64 billion tonnes, the third annual drop as Beijing shifts away from the polluting fuel.

The drop was the biggest on records going back to 1998, reflecting the efforts by the government to crack down on inefficient, ageing excess mining capacity.

The country slashed more than 315 million tonnes of coal production capacity, according to Reuters’ review of provincial data, and has pledged to cut another 250 million this year.

Many ageing operations are now being replaced with leaner, cleaner mining. Wood Mackenzie reckons as much as 1.5 billion tonnes of new and expanded capacity will come on stream over the next two years.

Source: Reuters 

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