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Coal output, sales growth drop amid slowing economy

(Xinhua)

08:18, September 20, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's coal output in the first eight months hit 2.57 billion tonnes, up 4.4 percent, although its coal output growth rate fell 7.9 percentage points year on year during the period, the China National Coal Association (CNCA) announced Wednesday.

During the same period, sales reached 2.47 billion tonnes, up 4 percent. However, the growth rate also slumped 10.7 percentage points, according to CNCA data.

The CNCA attributed the drop to a slowing domestic economy, which grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, marking the slowest pace of growth in more than three years.

As of the end of August, coal firms' stocks stood at 87.85 million tonnes, up 69 percent year on year. The figure represented a 6.8-percent increase from July.

The CNCA said downward pressure in the coal industry also weighed on prices. Coal prices at the Qinhuangdao port stood at 620 to 630 yuan per tonne as of the end of August, down 200 yuan year on year.

It predicted that supply will continue to outweigh demand for the full year, adding that a recovery for the sector has yet to arrive.

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