China, the world's biggest user and producer of coal, increased
purchases of the fuel from overseas by 34 percent last year as its
Imports rose to 51 million metric tons last year from 38.24
million tons in 2006, the Beijing-based Customs General
Administration of China said yesterday. China ended 2007 a net
exporter of 2.2 million tons of coal after shipping 53.2 million
tons abroad, Bloomberg News reported.
"It is expected," said Shanghai-based Donovan Huang, a coal
analyst with Nomura Securities. "The underlying trend is what's
important, we're seeing a sharp drop in exports."
He expects China to be a net importer of 15 million tons of coal
China, the fastest-growing major economy, became a net importer
of coal for the first time in January last year, cutting shipments
to Asian customers.
(Shanghai Daily January 16, 2008)