China is planning to limit its annual coal production to 3.8bn tonnes in the next five years, compared with 3.2bn tonnes last year.

Under the five-year plan large mines would account for about 66%, producing 2.5bn tonnes, mid-sized mines would produce 800m tonnes and small mines would account for 500m tonnes annually.

In addition to the consolidation of coal mines, the Chinese government plans to establish eight to ten major coal companies with annual capacity of more than 100m tonnes and another eight to ten companies with a capacity of about 50m tonnes.

China expects cutting outdated capacity and limiting output would continue to boost coal-import volumes.