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Supply equals demand
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-12-27 16:08

China, the world's biggest coal producer and consumer, said supply of the fuel will equal demand next year as a shortage of railway tracks and wagons eases, the nation's top economic planner said yesterday.

Sporadic shortages of coal may occur in some regions during peak traveling season on the nation's railway system, the National Development and Reform Commission said on its Website. It didn't give a forecast on coal production and demand for 2007, Bloomberg News said.

Inconsistent coal supplies caused by a shortage of rail facilities led to shutdown of some power plants. China is experiencing a fourth straight year of power shortages because economic growth has pushed demand for power beyond generating capacity. China's economy expanded 10.7 percent in the first three quarters of this year.

"Coal supply and demand will balance in 2007," the statement said. "China's reforming the industry with coal prices increasingly being set by the market, with suppliers and buyers conducting their own negotiations on pricing."

China's coal production in 2007 may rise 8.6 percent to 2.52 billion metric tons and demand may gain 8.5 percent to 2.51 billion tons, China Economic Information Network said in a report.

Source:Shanghai Daily 
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