(Updating to add detail)
BEIJING, March 14 China's coal output fell 1.7
percent in the first two months of the year, even after Beijing
urged miners to ramp up output to replenish supplies during the
cold winter months, reversing tough measures to cut the
country's reliance on fossil fuels.
Miners produced 506.78 million tonnes of coal in January and
February, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That compares
with 513.5 million tonnes in the first two months of 2016 and
546.5 million tonnes in 2015.
The Statistics Bureau provided information for January and
February together to smooth the impact of the Lunar New Year
holiday, and did not give a separate monthly breakdown.
In November, the government lifted a limit on the number of
days thermal coal miners can operate each year, in a bid to meet
surging demand from utilities during the months-long winter
Major coal miners have since been pushing for Beijing to
reinstate the limits on output after the key winter heating
season due to weakening demand and growing supply.
The country's state planner signaled last week that it will
not introduce such drastic measures this year, chastened by last
year's wild markets.
Even so, Beijing continues to crack down on the country's
inefficient and ageing excess mining capacity. The world's top
coal consumer has vowed to cut more than 150 million tonnes of
excess capacity this year.
(Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Josephine Mason; Editing by