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China to increase coal production, demand over next four years

China's five-year plan calls for increasing coal output and demand by 2020, despite its ongoing attempt to reduce excess capacity, Reuters reported Dec. 30.

The National Development and Reform Commission on Friday said it is targeting output of 3.9 billion tonnes of coal in 2020, up from 3.75 billion tonnes in 2015, according to Reuters, with consumption rising to 4.1 billion tonnes from 3.96 billion tonnes over the same period.

The government plans to close smaller mines in the east and northeastern regions while increasing production in the west, the NDRC said.

China cut miners' working days from 330 to 276 in April in an effort to reduce the supply glut in the coal sector. The move caused a global rally in coal prices, and in September, the government allowed some advanced coal producers to resume normal working days.