China's coal production in April increased 6.0% compared with the same month a year ago, with the growth slowing down compared with 9.6% in March, official data showed.
The country produced 322.12 million tonnes of coal in April, a 4.49% fall from March, data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics on May 15. This drove the total coal production to 1.15 billion tonnes in the first four month, which was 1.3% higher than the same period a year ago.
In the first three months, China's coal production was 0.5% lower than a year ago due to the virus outbreak dented the country's coal production.
Daily production in April declined 0.14 million tonnes compared with March, data showed.
Compared with March, when coal mines stepped up production in response to the government's call to ensure energy supply, coal production in April declined as the supply became heavily surplus and resulted in continuous fall in prices, frustrating miners' enthusiasm of production.
Sport price of the benchmark 5,500 Kcal/kg NAR thermal coal at northern transfer ports dropped consecutively in April before stabilizing late in the month. As of April 30, Fenwei CCI 5500 index was 469 yuan/t ($66.6/t), still below the "green range" of 500-570 yuan/t set by the National Development and Reform Commission.
Most traders were loss-making and therefore cut intakes from production areas. Data showed coal shipments through Daqin railway, the leading coal-dedicated line in China, declined 9.5% from the preceding year to 29.72 million tonnes in April, which was also 7.82% lower than March.
China consumed 870 million tonnes of the fuel in the first quarter, down 6.8% from the same period last year, according to China National Coal Association, in which consumption for power generation fell 6.8% to 507 million tonnes.
The association said in a report recently that decline of coal consumption will be narrowed in the second quarter this year, but the oversupply situation in the market will not change.
"In the second half of the year, total coal consumption will see improvement from the first six months as China will implement the policies to boost domestic demand and bring industrial and economic growth to a normal level," said the coal association, citing a report of Reuters.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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