China’s October coal output rose to the highest since at least March 2015, after Beijing approved several coal mine expansions to tame record prices and boost supply. China produced 357 million metric tons (mt) of coal during October, up from 334 million mt in September, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Output over the first 10 months of 2021 was 3.3 billion mt, up 4% year-on-year.

Since July, China has approved expansions at more than 153 coal mines, which could add 55 million mt of coal output in the fourth quarter, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said recently.

The central government, striving to put an end to power shortages, has also forbidden local governments to shut coal mines without authorization and urged a restart at closed mines as soon as they have rectified any problems.