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China coal sales, production decline in 2014
September 20, 2014, 1:56 pm

China is the world's largest consumer of coal, accounting for around half of global consumption [Xinhua]

China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, accounting for around half of global consumption [Xinhua]

As the top leadership indicates a strong desire to reduce its dependence on coal, an industry body on Saturday said China’s coal sales and production declined in the first eight months of 2014.

China produced 2.52 billion tonnes of coal from January to August this year, down 1.4 per cent from the same period last year, according to the China Coal Industry Association.

The coal sold over the same period fell 1.6 per cent year on year to 2.4 billion tonnes.

China will lower the coal-fired generation to under 62 percent of the national total by 2020, said a national plan unveiled yesterday. China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, accounting for around half of global consumption.

An action plan for the 2014-2020 period was jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the National Energy Administration on Friday.

The association attributed the flagging industry mainly to the current “off-peak season in terms of demand” and low coal prices in the international market.

China’s coal imports and exports also dropped during the period. In the first eight months, China imported 202 million tonnes, down 5.3 per cent year on year. Over the same period, the country exported 3.93 million tonnes, down 27.5 per cent.

Coal stockpiles remained at a high level, amounting to more than 300 million tonnes. This is the 33rd month in a row that the figure has stayed above the 300-million-tonne line.

Prices of coal also fell in the country. On September 12, China’s coal price index was 136.4 points, 21.6 points lower than the beginning of the year, and 86.4 points lower than the record high registered in July 2008.

The association also released the profit data for the first seven months for Chinese coal companies, which declined 43.9 per cent year on year. More than 70 per cent of Chinese coal firms have registered losses till date.

Nearly 70 per cent of China’s energy comes from coal, a ratio much higher than in developed countries, which use cleaner resources like oil and gas. China has the world’s third-largest coal reserves but lacks gas and oil.

 

Source: Agencies

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