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China's January coal exports down 36%
Updated: 2009-02-12 15:37

BEIJING - China exported 3.66 million tonnes of coal in January, down 36.3 year on year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

But the export value was up 19.3 percent to US$482 million due to the rising prices of coal exports.

Average coal export price per tonne in January reached US$131.8, up 87.5 percent.

Total export and import of coal in 2008 was 45.43 million tonnes, and 40.4 million tonnes, down 14.6 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively.

The country has stepped up control over coal exports to meet domestic demand since the beginning of last year, when prices of international crude oil soared and the snow-disaster in southern China increased need for coal.

Starting August 20 last year, the country enacted a 10 percent export tariff on energy products such as soft coal and coking coal.

But the financial crisis has changed that situation as electricity, steel, coal and chemical industries at home and abroad are all impacted, resulting in flagging demand for coal and inventory build-ups at some major ports in the country.