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Chinese coal mines delay production restart in wake of coronavirus: sources

Chinese coal mines in Shanxi’s Linfen and Yulin cities have delayed restarting production after the Lunar New Year holidays because of the coronavirus outbreak, sources told S&P Global Platts Friday.

Chinese coal mines in Yulin, which were closed for the Lunar New Year break, are not permitted to restart production and workers out on holiday shall not return to work until further notice, the Yulin Bureau of Energy said in a statement sent to miners and coal users on January 26.

“In order to reduce transmission of coronavirus, please strengthen hygiene standard for workers who are working during the holiday at operating Chinese mines and ensure that no unauthorized personnel could enter operating mines,” the statement added.

Market sources said that Shanxi’s Linfen was also affected by similar practices, however, no official document was immediately available.

“While there are no specific dates on government document, most mines closed for Lunar New Year will restart from February 10,” a south China-based trader said.

“Chinese coal prices could inch up, but there is no way for us to assess the impact on Chinese coal price from production delay of Chinese mines due to the ongoing Lunar New Year,” a Singapore-based trader said.

Market sources said that they were not surprised by the delay in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

The spread of the coronavirus, which has sickened more than 7,000 people globally, has led to fears of an economic contraction in China, where the infection started and has killed at least 132.

The Yulin Bureau of Energy and Linfen Environment Emergency Office were not immediately available for comments.
Source: Platts

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