October 19, 2016 / 2:36 AM / in a year

China Sept coal output falls ahead of Beijing's step to boost supplies

BEIJING, Oct 19 (Reuters) - China’s coal output output fell 12.3 percent last month, extending a prolonged period of government-enforced cuts before Beijing gave the go-ahead for producers to reopen shuttered capacity amid a surge in prices.

Output in September fell to 277 million tonnes from a year ago, according to the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. Production has fallen every month since at least July last year, government data shows.

For the first nine months, output was down 10.5 percent to 2.46 billion tonnes, the bureau said.

The drop may not last into October. At the end of September, Beijing allowed producers to increase output after government efforts to cut overcapacity and curb pollution depleted supplies to utilities and triggered an historic rally in prices.

Extending one of the commodity market’s biggest ever bull runs, Australian thermal coal prices hit $100 per tonne on Tuesday for the first time since 2012. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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