* March output 300 mln t; Q1 dn 0.3 pct at 809.23 mln t
* 1st monthly on-year gain since at least March 2015
* 'Production will grow faster' in months ahead -analyst
(Adds analyst comment, output details)
BEIJING, April 17 China's coal output rose 1.9
percent in March compared with the same month a year earlier,
its first year-on-year gain in at least two years, suggesting
miners are ramping up production to take advantage of rising
Miners produced 300 million tonnes of coal in March, the
National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, though for the
first quarter output dipped 0.3 percent from a year earlier to
809.23 million tonnes.
"Coal production will grow faster in following months as
policy makers put a strong emphasis on securing supplies," said
Zhang Min, Zibo-based coal analyst with China Sublime
Information Group said.
Supply tightened last year amid a mounting crackdown on
illegal mining as work safety regulators reported an increasing
number of accidents from coal mines. China's top coal producing
region Shanxi province launched a new campaign against illegal
mining last month.
Prices have gained more than 25 percent since the start of
this year. The most active thermal coal futures prices
hit a five-month high of 644.8 yuan on April 6.
China's largest miner Shenhua said in its annual report on
March 20 that expected to produce 298 million tonnes of coal in
2017, up from 290 million tonnes in 2016.
(Reporting by Meng Meng and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by
Stephen Coates and Kenneth Maxwell)