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Chinese Coal Production Jumps To Six-Year High In October

Chinese coal production in October rose to the highest level since March 2015 as the energy crisis in the world’s second-largest economy prompted authorities to seek to increase coal supply and reduce coal prices.

China, the largest consumer and producer of coal, saw its October output rising to 357.09 million tons, compared to 334.1 million tons in the previous month, according to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics cited by Reuters.

Chinese authorities have recently ordered the expansion of more than a hundred coal mines amid a coal and energy crisis in the country that led to power outages at factories.

The rush to secure more domestic supply resulted in a monthly coal output in October that was at its highest in six and a half years—since March 2015.

Last week, China’s daily coal production hit a record high of 12.05 million tons, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said as quoted by the Xinhua news agency.

The record-high daily coal output has helped ensure energy supply and stabilize prices, NDRC, the top planning body in China, said.

It’s not certain whether China could keep high coal production levels in the winter months when colder weather typically curtails some operations and hampers logistics, analysts tell Reuters.

The soaring coal prices and the energy crisis hit China in the third quarter and continued into the beginning of the fourth quarter. In September, the world’s second-largest economy restricted power use in at least 20 regions and provinces that contribute more than half to the Chinese economy.

Surging coal prices and power shortages in China slowed the growth of its economy in the third quarter and are now threatening to spill over to the global supply chains in the fourth quarter.

China has moved in recent weeks to squash the surge in coal prices with government intervention, which resulted in a plunge in the price of coal.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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