China's coal output, sales stabilize in Oct

Updated: 2013-12-09 09:17


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BEIJING - China's coal output and sales for the past 10 months are stabilizing, with the price of coal rising, according to the China National Coal Association (CNCA).

National coal production slipped 0.3 percent year-on-year for the past 10 months, marking four consecutive months of shrinking declines, while sales for October picked up 1.9 percent, according to the data released by CNCA.

Meanwhile, coal prices picked up in October, with the national coal market prosperity index rising 3.4 basis points over last month.

A stabilizing economy, increased heating demand, and thermal power growth boosted the once-flagging coal market, said Wang Zhanjun, deputy director with the economy management department of CNCA.

China's coal market has suffered prolonged price drops and business losses since May 2012 due to sagging demand, overcapacity and the inflow of imported coal.

Total coal production in 2013 might reach 3.7 billion tons and coal consumption is likely to grow 3 percent, Wang predicted.

China's coal consumption is expected to hit 4.8 billion metric tons by 2020, CNCA forecast in late November.

However, the sector faces more challenges as the country puts greater emphasis on economic restructuring and transforming the economic growth pattern. Environmental protection also puts a restraint on the sector's development, said Jiang Zhimin, CNCA vice president.