BEIJING, Sept 22 China has called regulators and
company executives from the country's major coal producing
regions to an "urgent" meeting on Friday, the second in as many
weeks as Beijing tries to overhaul the industry while
maintaining supplies to major consumers.
China is trying to cut inefficient coal production as part
of efforts to reduce pollution and trim excess capacity. But
tighter supplies and increased consumption during the summer
have pushed up prices.
In a letter dated Sept. 22 and seen by Reuters on Thursday,
the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) scheduled
the meeting in Beijing for regulators from China's top three
coal producing regions, Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces and the
autonomous region of Inner Mongolia.
Executives from Shenhua Group Corp and ChinaCoal
, along with the China Iron and Steel Association
(CISA) and the China National Coal Association will also attend.
Participants will discuss the industry's "latest problems"
as well as supply and demand in the following months, it said.
"We will study and analyse the latest outlook in coal
production, transportation, demand, price and problems," the
The NDRC did not repond to Reuters' calls seeking comment.
It is not clear what will be decided at the meeting, but
CISA sent a request to the NDRC earlier this month pleading for
more supplies of coking coal used for steelmaking, according to
a document seen by Reuters.
The recent production cuts that are part of the NRDC's
efforts to get rid of inefficient coal output have choked off
supplies of raw material to domestic steelmakers.
At an industry meeting two weeks ago, producers discussed
increasing thermal coal output, partially reversing those cuts,
but measures have so far not included coking coal.
Friday's meeting comes just days after some major producers
including Shenhua started ramping up output, putting up to 15
million tonnes of new supply each month on to the market.
In its letter to the NDRC, CISA noted that coking coal
prices have soared 20 percent in the past two months, while
imports have climbed sharply.
(Reporting by Kathy Chen; writing by Josephine Mason. Editing
by Jane Merriman)