Relevant government departments will continue to adopt comprehensive measures to keep coal prices down, said Lian Weilang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, pointing out that the current market price of coal is still relatively high, Yicai.com reported.

Lian emphasized that coal companies cannot expect continuously high prices for coal, which are not conducive to cutting back on outdated and costly production capacities and not beneficial for the gradual reduction in use by society.

Meanwhile, it will do harm to the coordinated development of upstream and downstream industries, the report said.

Lian encouraged companies to sign long-term contracts as early as possible, regarding it as a way to improve the quality of the supply system of coal.

The latest Bohai Bay thermal coal price index reached 578 yuan (US$87.16) per metric tonne, decreasing by 3 yuan per tonne from a month earlier. The index has been falling for the fifth consecutive week, with a total decrease of 8 yuan per tonne.