China's 2009 coal imports triple

Updated: 2010-02-10 22:46
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BEIJING: The volume of China's coal imports more than tripled in 2009 from a year earlier as the country's economic stimulus package boosted demand.

China's coal imports jumped 2.1 fold to 130 million tonnes in 2009 from a year earlier, with the average price being $84 per tonne, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Wednesday in a statement on its website.

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GAC attributed the surge to higher domestic coal prices and a supply shortage caused by the increase in demand after the economic stimulus package came into effect, which pushed up demand for high-quality coking coal in the steel, cement and chemical industries.

Domestic coal prices rose higher in fall and winter, boosted by increasing demand for heating, GAC said.

The country's coal exports stood at 22.4 million tonnes last year, down 50.7 percent year on year. The exports totaled $2.38 billion in value, a year-on-year decrease of 54.7 percent, according to GAC.