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China's Jan-Feb raw coal output up 5.7% on year at 520 million mt

China mined 520 million mt of raw coal in January and February, up 5.7%year on year, National Bureau of Statistics data released Wednesday showed.

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Demand for coal also picked up in the first two months of the year in thedomestic as well as seaborne markets in light of better industrialperformance.

China's power generation plants faced extreme low stockpile in Januaryand the first half of February due to colder weather and better-than-expectedrecovery in business cycle.

To meet the stronger demand of coal, Chinese central governmentencouraged domestic coal producers to increase their production capacity andimprove coordination with railways to streamline inland transportation andsupply.

The price of FOB Qinhuangdao 5,500 kcal/kg NAR coal surged almost 30% inthe past year, to be assessed at Yuan 770/mt early February, S&P Global Plattsdata showed, driven by strong demand and supply tightness in severalcoal-producing regions.

However, the prices fell after the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays due tolow coal consumption rate and high stockpile level.

Platts assessed the FOB Qinhuangdao 5,500 kcal/kg NAR coal price at Yuan645/mt FOB Tuesday.

China generated 1.045 trillion kWh of electricity in January-February, up11% year on year and the highest rise since August 2013.

The growth rate of thermal power generation rose 9.8% year on year, whilehydropower generation in the same period jumped 5.9% on the year.

Nuclear power generation was up 17.9% on the year, while wind and solarpower generation grew 34.7% and 36%, respectively, on the year.

--Michelle Zhao, michelle.zhao@spglobal.com

--Edited by Pankti Mehta, pankti.mehta@spglobal.com