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China coal output falls to eight-month low on party congress

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China's coal production in October dropped to the lowest in eight months as some mines were shut to ensure safety during the twice-a-decade Community Party congress.

[SHANGHAI] China's coal production in October dropped to the lowest in eight months as some mines were shut to ensure safety during the twice-a-decade Community Party congress.

Production last month declined eight per cent from September to about 9.15 million tons a day, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Total output last month was at 283.54 million tons and production in the first 10 months of the year totaled about 2.85 billion tons, rebounding 4.8 per cent from last year after government regulations limited output.

Some mining operations were temporarily halted to ensure no accidents occurred in the lead up to and during the 19th Communist Party Congress gathering in Beijing last month, according to Fenwei Energy analysts.

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"The big drop is within expectation," Zeng Hao, an analyst with Fenwei Energy, said by phone.

"Domestic coal output in November will likely return to September level as mines resume operation after the party congress."

Inbound shipments of overseas coal dropped to the least in three months as lower prices were seen curbing deliveries, according to data released by the customs bureau last week.

China's regulators banned coal imports at some ports starting July 1.

BLOOMBERG

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