OREANDA-NEWS. Fitch Ratings says that the 2015 full-year result previews issued by the listed Chinese coal mining companies reflect the extent of challenges the sector is facing. Oversupply and weak coal prices are the main factors. Fitch expects the over-supply conditions to prevail for some time, and financial woes to deepen in 2016.

Twenty eight out of the 33 coal companies listed on China's Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges have just released their 2015 full-year financial result previews, and 20 reported a net loss after excluding any one-off gains.

China Shenhua Energy (A+/Stable) ranks first by profits by a large margin; its net income is more than that of all the other listed coal companies' put together. Its scale and vertical integration into power generation and railways underpin this more positive result, as reflected in its strong 'A' category standalone credit profile.

Fitch views 2016 as an even more challenging year for the coal sector. China's central government has endeavoured to address the oversupply by encouraging the phase-out of high-cost and old mines, although implementation at the various government levels entails various other issues. Price recovery is highly unlikely in 2016 as consolidation of the excessive mining capacity will take longer - and require more effort - than the central government expected, together with a weaker demand outlook.