China's coal industry Q1 capacity utilization falls to lowest since Q3 2020 Production & Sales 2024-04-17 11:53:43

Capacity utilization in China's coal mining and washing sector declined in the first quarter of this year to the lowest since the third quarter of 2020, as lower prices weakened production at mines and washing plants, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.


Capacity utilization of major coal miners and washing plants across the nation averaged 71.6% in the first three months, down 2.2 percentage points from the same period last year. The utilization rate has remained relatively stable since the third quarter of 2021, fluctuating between 73% and 76%.


There were two main factors contributing to the multi-year low. One is that coal mines took a prolonged holiday for the Chinese New Year as it was the first of its kind after the pandemic. Meanwhile, coal prices continued to decline, affecting shipments from mines and constraining profit margins, which in turn impacted production enthusiasm.


Additionally, the shift from "increasing production" to "stabilizing production" to ensure supply has curbed overproduction at coal mines and affected the release of coal production capacity.


Separately, the capacity utilization rate for the production and supply of electricity, heat, gas, and water in the first quarter stood at 71.2%, down by 0.7 percentage points from the same period last year and 3.2 percentage points from the previous quarter. It is he lowest level since the second quarter of 2022.


(Writing by Alex Guo  Editing by Harry Huo)
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