China coal inventory thins amid peak power demand- state media

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A man walks near a coal-fired power plant in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

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SINGAPORE, Aug 6 (Reuters) - China's coal inventories have dropped to near historic lows since August due to peak summer electricity demand and transportation bottlenecks exacerbated by last month's severe floods and typhoon, state media reported on Friday.

To cope with tight coal supplies the government has rallied top miners, such as China National Coal Group and Jinneng Holding Group to ramp up supplies and also pledged to release more fuel from the state reserve.

Coal stocks held by miners have fallen 26% year-on-year and inventories at key ports dropped 21%, state television reported, without giving specific stock levels.

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Inventories at major power plants have each dropped 21% and 26.7% from a year ago, it added.

As a result, spot thermal coal prices at northern ports hovered near record highs of more than 1,050 yuan ($162.44) per tonne.

Citing an official with China Coal Industry Association, the report said Chinese coal consumption had in the first half of 2021 expanded by one-tenth over a year earlier to 2.1 billion tonnes.

($1 = 6.4641 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Chen Aizhu Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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