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China's Coal Supply Sufficient for Demand of 2006

China's coal production is expected to rise 4.9 percent over this year to 2.16 billion tons in 2006, more than enough to meet demand which is also expected to rise next year.


This information was released by the Development Research Center of the State Council last week.


The report predicted the country's total coal consumption will be 2.1 billion tons in 2006, up 6.65 percent. Demand for coal is expected to rise this year by 7.4 percent.


The slowing of the rate of increased coal consumption next year compared with this year is mainly due to government policies that have decreased investment in sectors such as cement, aluminum, steel and real estate, the report said.


Conservation and more efficient coal consumption along with the introduction of substitute energy sources are also reasons for the slower increase in coal consumption, said the report.


It also predicted coal production in 2006 would not be affected by the closure of many small coal mines this year.


China launched a massive crackdown on unsafe coal mines in August, following a flooding of the Daxing Colliery in southern China, which killed 123 miners.


Since then, the country has closed nearly 2,000 coal mines and is expected to shut down another 4,000 by the end of this year, according to state safety watchdog.


According to the report, coal mine enterprises with annual sales of over 5 million yuan (US$617,000), are expected to produce 1.95 billion tons of coal next year, accounting for over 90 percent of the total output.


(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2005)


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