China's coal shortage to ease in coming months, industry body says



BEIJING, Oct 17 (Reuters) - China's coal shortage will likely ease in coming months, with domestic production and imports already showing signs of picking up, a coal industry association said on Sunday, amid government efforts to tackle tight supply.

The Chinese government initiated a raft of measures to boost coal supplies in recent months as it sought to address a coal shortage which has contributed to a nationwide power crunch and disrupted production in various industries.

There are signs those efforts are starting to pay off.

Daily coal production by the coal miners monitored by the China Coal Transportation and Distribution (CCTD) rose 4.5% in the first 13 days of October from average daily levels in September, the industrial body said in a statement. The coal miners monitored by the CCTD account for more than half of China's coal output.

China's national energy bureau said last week that daily coal output had climbed to the highest level since February.

Among the measures aimed at boosting coal supply, the government has since July approved capacity expansion at more than 150 mines and recently urged closed mines to resume production before most northern regions start the winter heating season next month.

Beijing has also encouraged power plants to source coal overseas to ensure feedstock supply for power generation.

China's coal imports rose by 76% in September from a year ago, according to customs data.

Refinitiv trade flow data showed about 18.36 million tonnes of coal is expected to arrive in China in October as of Sunday. Last year, China imported 13.73 million tonnes of coal in October, according to customs data.


Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tony Munroe; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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