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China’s Coal Industry Group Revises Down 2024 Output Forecast

Chinese coal production this year will vary by between a 1% annual decline and 1% growth this year, a major industry association said on Wednesday, revising down its previous forecast of a 1% increase in coal production.

China’s top producing region, Shanxi, is likely to miss its coal production target for 2024, Li Xuegang, deputy chairman of the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association (CCTD), said on Wednesday, as carried by Reuters.

Shanxi, the coal county in the world’s top coal producer, will find it “extremely difficult” to reach its goal of producing 1.3 billion tons this year, according to the official.

Last year, China’s total coal production stood at 4.66 billion tons, up by 2.9% compared to 2022.

Last month, Chinese coal production fell to the lowest level since October 2022, according to Reuters estimates. The decline was the result of weak coal prices and continued safety inspections at mines.

With the downward revision to China’s coal output for this year, CCTD’s Li expects coal prices to be supported.

China has boosted its imports of coal so far this year, as it looks to stockpile fuel for the power plants ahead of the summer amid international prices that were half last year’s levels in the first four months of 2024.

China’s increased coal imports so far this year are defying earlier expectations that Beijing would see flat coal purchases in 2024.

Coal output in China has wobbled this year after authorities in the northern province of Shanxi, the top coal-producing region, ordered in February miners to reduce production and carry out safety inspections between March and May, following several fatal incidents at mines in China in recent months.

China continues to rely on coal and coal-fired power generation to meet its growing power demand, and despite being the world's top investor in solar and wind capacity, it also plans a lot of new coal-fired electricity capacity.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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