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Coal price rebound in China threatens oversupply reduction efforts, says official

Anofficial of China's top economic planner said that steep increases in coalprices, attributable to the 9.7% contraction in domestic output during thefirst half of the year, undermine the government's efforts in countering thesupply glut,Bloomberg News reported July 20.

"Coalprices shouldn't rise too much or too fast," Bloomberg quoted LianWeiliang, vice chairman with the National Development and Reform Commission assaying, in a report by Xinhua News Agency.

Theofficial added that the reduction of annual operating days to 276 from 330 contributed to the pricerecovery.

Accordingto data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association, spotpower-station coal prices at the port of Qinhuangdao was at an average of 420yuan a ton as of July 17, the highest level in 14 months. The Citigroupforecast the price to reach 450 yuan by December, Bloomberg wrote.

Lianalso noted that higher coal prices are not sustainable amid dwindling demand,with consumption falling 5.1% year over year to 97.5 million tonnes in thefirst six months of the year, said the report, citing Xinhua.

As of July 21, US$1 wasequivalent to 6.68 Chinese yuan.