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Coal Price Climbing as Output Falls: NDRC

The coal price on the Chinese market is climbing as a result of falling output and rising demand, China Securities Journal has reported on Monday.


Citing a recent report by the Price Monitoring Center of the National Development and Reformation Commission (NDRC), the journal said China's coal production will likely reduce by anywhere 50 million to 70 million tons this year and that the figure will rise to 100 million tons in 2006.


Since April this year, the country's coal output has been declining as the central government has a taken slew of measures to straighten market order, closing a large batch of coal mines that did not meet safety standards.


The massive closure was sparked off by frequent coal mine accidents across the country this year.


Zhao Tiechui, head of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety Supervision, has vowed to shut down 4,000 small coal mines or pits annually in the next three years after a coal mine blast killed 171 people in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.


The price monitoring center said that in October the prices of coke and coal used for industrial boilers in 36 medium-sized and large cities came to 545.56 yuan per ton and 418.15 yuan per ton, respectively, up 22.45 percent and 5.85 percent from the same month in 2004.


Meanwhile, the market demand for coal, fueled by the winter season, is on rise. By the end of September, the whole country had stockpiled around 136 million tons of coal, up 24.5 million tons from the same period of the previous year.


(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2005)


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