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The outbreak of a new coronavirus is hitting coal production in China, with mines in Shanxi’s Linfen and Yulin cities delaying the resumption of operations after the Lunar New Year break, S&P Global Platts reported, citing market sources. Yulin’s Bureau of Energy did not permit coal mines in the city to resume mining after the holidays and ordered workers not to return to work until further notice; the same practice is affecting coal mines in Linfen, according to the report.

* After metallurgical coal markets retreated in 2019, coal producers and industry observers are split on what 2020 will look like but agree that much of the market will depend on what happens in China this year. Globally, metallurgical coal suppliers hoping to grow production will face “creeping resistance” due to permitting concerns and a shift in capital investment driven by climate change concerns, Wood Mackenzie wrote in its 2020 metallurgical coal outlook.