China busiest coal railway saw freight volume drop for a fourth consecutive month in February, as the novel coronavirus outbreak pushed down coal output, and market demand remained weak, reported Caixin.
The 653-kilometer (405-mile) Daqin railway, which starts in Datong in the coal-rich province of Shanxi, and snakes through four regions until it reaches the Hebei province port city of Qinhuangdao, carried 23.71 million tons of coal last month. That was down 25.56% compared with the same period last year, according to a report filed by the rail operator to the Shanghai Stock Exchange Tuesday.
A transportation analyst told Caixin that dip is due to slumping supply and demand, not transportation capacity. The analyst said the coronavirus hasn’t had a big direct impact on the railway’s operations, as few workers are needed to transport goods.
Ordos, in North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, has 333 coal mines and can produce more of the fossil fuel than any other city in China — 838 million tons a year. But as of Sunday, just 179 mines with combined annual capacity of 572 million tons are up and running, according to the local energy administration.