NBS: China’s Aug coal output flat, coke up 3% on year
China’s total raw coal production for all uses edged down 0.1% on year in August but rose 2.5% on month to 325.8 million tonnes, while that for coke grew by 2.9% on year or 3.2% on month to 41.3 million tonnes, according to data released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on September 15.
Over January-August, China’s total coal output declined by 0.1% on year too to 2.45 billion tonnes. As for coke, output over the first eight months was still 1.4% lower on year at 310.3 million tonnes, NBS data showed.
The higher on-month coal output in August generally matched firming domestic energy consumption, as the country generated 509 billion kWh of thermal power last month, growing by 6.2% on year or 10.7% on month, according to the NBS data.
“The year-to-date growth of domestic power consumption changed from negative to positive in August, largely supported by the recovering economy and high temperatures in summer,” explained a Beijing-based analyst.
However, coal mining and sales in North China’s Inner Mongolia – the country’s core coal mining base – remained curtailed due to the ongoing checks on illegal mining activities since February, the statistics show. The Inner Mongolian government is re-examining all the region’s resource development cases over the past 20 years to ensure all projects comply with regulations, as reported.
As for coke, the higher output was in response to the buoyant demand and healthy coke margins last month, Mysteel Global understands. Last month, China produced 78.6 million tonnes of pig iron, representing a healthy 5% increase on year or 0.5% on month, NBS noted.
“Other than Shandong (East China), many domestic coking plants operated at full loads last month to meet the strong appetites of steel mills,” said a Shanghai-based analyst. “Even so, domestic coke supply stayed tight, which supported the coke margins,” he explained.