China's economic planner calls for accelerated capacity cuts to steel, coal

SHANGHAI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - China’s economic planning agency said the country should quicken the pace of capacity reductions in steel and coal, adding that rising prices for the commodities were weakening the resolve of local governments to accelerate the cuts.

Zhao Chenxin, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference on Tuesday that localities are worried that capacity cuts could hurt local growth.

China’s steel capacity cuts in the first seven months of the year are behind schedule, accounting for 47 percent of the target for the year, while coal capacity cuts have reached only 38 percent of the annual target. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Writing by Pete Sweeney; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)