China urges coal miners to resume production to keep market supplied

FILE PHOTO - Workers operate loaders unloading imported coal at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China National Energy Administration on Saturday urged coal miners to resume production to keep the market supplied and stabilize prices amid the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 250 people and infected over 10,000.

The administration will strictly ban activities such as raising coal prices beyond their contracts, refusing to fulfill medium-to-long term contracts or restricting coal sales outside the production areas, it said in a statement on its website.

Local governments in Inner Mongolia region and Shanxi province, the top two coal mining regions in China, have asked their coal companies not to sell the fuel outside the areas to reduce transportation and to prevent the spread of the virus.

Reporting by Muyu Xu, Judy Hua and Se Young Lee; Editing by Shri Navaratnam