Global coal production is expected to grow by only 0.5% after three consecutive yearly increases, due to the disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown, data and analytics company GlobalData said on Thursday.
Coal production is predicted to grow marginally in 2020, from 8.13 billion tonnes in 2019 to 8.17 billion tonnes, according to the company's statement.
"Disruption to date has been most significant in China. Coal production declined by around 6% in the first two months of 2020 as workers could not return to mine sites, owing to the prolonged Lunar New Year holidays as well as road blockages and lockdowns to control the outbreak of the virus," the statement read.
"This led to only 57% of China's coal mines being operational as of Feb. 14," GlobalData confirmed.
However, by March 4, according to the company, 83% of China's coal mining capacity was operational and production is now expected to recover over the remainder of 2020 with a forecast decline of only 1.2% expected by the year-end.
"Across the globe, compared with other commodities coal production is only expected to be marginally affected by the impact of the coronavirus as thermal coal mines are permitted to operate during lockdowns as they are deemed essential to maintain power supplies," said Vinneth Bajaj, senior mining analyst at GlobalData.
By Firdevs Yuksel