The raw coal output of China's large coal enterprises reached 2.63 billion tons in 2008, up 12.8 percent year-on-year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Wednesday.
The output rise was 3.4 percentage points higher than the previous year while the profits of such coal enterprises were 130.4 billion yuan ($19.06 billion), with the growth rate falling 7.9 percentage points, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The NDRC said the coal industry maintained sound development, with rising demand in the first eight months driven by the country's rapid economic growth, and shrinking coal demand since last September due to the impact of the global financial crisis.
It also predicted that the growth of China's coal demand would slow down and its output would maintain stable growth. It also said coal demand and output would tend to be relaxed.
China's coal exports reached 45.4 million tons in 2008, down 14.6 percent year-on-year. The nation imported 40.4 million of tons, a 20.8 percent decline year-on-year, while net exports were estimated at about 5 million tons, an increase of 2.9 million of tons.
Coal stockpiles experienced dramatic growth of 34.9 percent compared to 2007. The total amount of coal stocks reached 200 million tons at the end of last December, including 50.9 million tons at coal mines, 43.4 million tons at power plants and 19.7 million tons at ports, up 30, 90.8 and 39.4 percent respectively.
Last year also saw great fluctuations in coal prices as they kept rising in the first eight months, started declining since last September and rebounded slightly in December.
At the end of December 2008, 6,000-kilocalorie quality coal at Datong, Shanxi province, was 625 yuan per ton and 5,500-kilocalrie quality coal from Shanxi was sold at about 590 yuan.