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China to produce 3.7 billion tonnes of coal in 2012
December 19, 2012, 3:00 pm

[Getty Images]

[Getty Images]

Wang Xianzheng, chairman of the China Coal Industry Association says China will produce 3.7 billion tonnes of coal this year.

Although coal output, imports and stocks continue to increase, the consumption of the mineral remains slack, he said at a forum on Wednesday.

In the first 11 months of 2012 coal output totaled 3.51 billion tonnes, while coal imports stood at 245 million tonnes according to the association.

Meanwhile, combined profits at 90 major Chinese coal producers plunged 22.2 per cent from a year earlier between January and October, according to the data.

The import figure is slightly lower than the 290 million tonnes in coal stockpiles recorded by the end of November, indicating huge destocking pressure in the market.

In contrast, coal consumption expanded at a slower pace, chipping away at corporate profits.

Consumption reached 3.72 billion tonnes from January to November, with annual growth rate in the period down 5.6 percentage points compared to the previous year.

Despite the overproduction, Xianzheng forecasts supply shortages in the long term.

He estimates that coal consumption will reach between 4.8 billion tonnes and 5.3 billion tonnes a year by 2020.

Source: Agencies

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