China coal miners boost output, but consumption rises as winter nears – by Meng Meng and Josephine Mason (Daily Mail/Reuters – December 13, 2016)

BEIJING, Dec 13 (Reuters) – China’s coal miners ramped up output in November, but production was still down year-on-year and power consumption rose at its fastest pace in years, underlining the government’s difficulties as it tries to avert a winter energy crisis.

The data was the strongest sign yet that miners are struggling to comply with government orders to crank out more thermal coal supplies for the power sector ahead of the busiest and coldest months of the year.

Production in November fell to 308.1 million tonnes, up 9 percent from October, but still down 5.1 percent from a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics data showed.

The pace of output cuts year-on-year slowed compared with double-digit percentage drops since March and analysts expect data to register a rise in December, the first in at least 18 months, as fresh supplies hit the market.

But the data surprised some market followers after a senior industry executive on Monday said output had grown month-on-month and year-on-year and after a series of emergency measures by the government to boost output.

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