China coal industry group says output at accident-hit mining hubs back to normal

A coal mine near Hailar, Inner Mongolia. (Image by Herry Lawford, Flickr).

Coal mining output at accident-hit mining districts of Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia in China’s north have returned to normal, a major coal industry group said on Wednesday.

A recent spike in coal mine accidents had pushed authorities to order safety inspections at major mining hubs including Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia, slowing down production.

Output at Shaanxi, China’s top producing province, has remained stable, but not returned to the levels seen before the inspections began, said Han Lei, general manager at the research department of China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association.

The domestic market is still oversupplied, Han said, adding that imports of the polluting fuel continued to be at a “high level”.

Han said coal demand from the power sector was stable, while weak demand from the real estate and chemical sectors were dragging down domestic coal prices.

“Other industrial products and non-electricity demand for coal, especially cement, glass, these ones – you can say it’s extremely bad,” Han said.

He said demand from the building materials industry had “contracted sharply” and would need strong government support to improve.

(By Andrew Hayley and Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Ros Russell)


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