* Coal prices have surged, topping oil, LNG, copper gains in 2016
* Coal mining shares outperform in commodity sector
* Thermal coal markets to see supply shortfall in 2017
* Solid demand from China, SEAsia underpinning market (Adds data on China coal imports, Adaro comment)
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, Feb 10 Many a swan song has been sung for thermal coal markets as renewable power generation and a push towards using more natural gas have gained traction.
Yet a coal price spike last year, driven by a Chinese change in regulation that capped local mining operations, has shown how easily markets can swing from oversupply to shortfall.