China's coke production continued declining year on year, by 4.2%, to 40.17 million tonnes in June, faster than 3.2% decline in May, showed data from the National Bureau of Statistics on July 16.
The year-on-year decline, which has occurred for months, was closely related with record-high production last year.
After concentrated capacity elimination during 2017-18 for the supply-side structural reform, annual coke production gradually stabilizes around 430 million tonnes.
Entering 2019 China ditched "one-size-fits-all" mode for environmental crackdown and turned to take a more lenient way in production cuts in coke sector. Accordingly, coking plants maintained high capacity utilization and coke output in 2019 surged to an all-time high.
China's coke output in June rose 1.09 million tonnes or 2.79% from May, showed the data. Spurred by fat profit, coking plants showed high production interest.
During May-June coke prices had rose for six rounds by a total 300 yuan/t, backed by regional supply tightness. Some coking plants in Shandong were ordered to slash production by 30-50%, and the same extent cuts were seen in 4.3-meter coke ovens in Luliang of Shanxi, with daily production banned. Xuzhou of Jiangsu shut three coking plants to eliminate 5.5 million tonnes of annual coke capacity by the end of June.
Over January-June, coke output in the country amounted to 228.69 million tonnes, sliding 2.5% year on year, compared with 2.8% decline during January-May.
By end-2019, China had a total coke-making capacity of 640 million tonnes a year. The figure is expected to rise around 2% year on year in 2020.
(Writing by Jessie Jia Editing by Alex Guo)
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