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China's December coal output hits highest level in a year

China's coal production inched up 1% over the previous month to 311 million tonnes in December 2016, representing its highest level in a year, Reuters reported Jan. 20, citing the National Bureau of Statistics.

The augmented output was spurred by strong demand from utilities during the winter. China's coal production experienced three consecutive monthly increases through December but was down 3% year over year, said the report.

The country's total coal production for 2016 dropped 9% year over year to 3.64 billion tonnes, representing its third annual decline as Beijing veers away from the fossil fuel and toward cleaner energy sources, Reuters wrote.