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China's October Daily Coal Output Slips From Record as COVID Throttles Operations



November 16, 2022 - China’s daily coal output in October slipped from a record high in the prior month as hundreds of COVID cases a day were detected in major mining regions, prompting local governments to impose stringent curbs that slowed mine operations.

China mined 370.09 million tonnes of the fuel last month, the lowest level since May, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday, equivalent to 11.94 million tonnes per day.

The spike in September followed Beijing’s order to revoke a decades-long restriction on sales at coal mines, which was designed to prevent miners from producing more coal than they were allowed to and to reduce the risks of mining accidents.

But as COVID-19 cases mounted throughout October, authorities introduced stringent mobility curbs, forcing miners to scale down production as they were unable to ship out their output.

Average utilisation rates at 442 major coal mines in Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia fell to 81.2% in October – the lowest level since the Lunar New Year in February when most mines slowed production for the holiday, according to data compiled by the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association.

Coal output is expected to pick up in November with China gradually easing COVID restrictions. The start of the heating season in northern China also required mines to gear up operations to meet increasing demand.