Coal market puzzled as China flashes conflicting output data
Investors looking to China’s official production data to help divine where coal prices are heading might need to be extra cautious.
Coal mining figures from the National Bureau of Statistics are flashing mixed signals. The agency pegs first-half output up 3.9% from a year ago. Yet in absolute terms, the volume has come in below last year consistently in 2018. That’s spurred speculation production in the world’s largest miner and user of the fuel may be slipping, and could help explain why regulators have been unable to get prices down to their targeted levels.