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China's coal imports up, exports down
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China's coal import hit a new monthly high in May, while coal export slumped to a 11-year low, China Securities Journal reported today.

The latest statistics from the General Administration of Customs showed China's coal import reached 9.43 million tons in May, more than double that in the same period of last year. China's coal import and export amounted to 32.20 million and 10.53 million tons respectively in the January–May period, or a net import of some 22 million tons.

Industry insiders predicted a net import of more than 30 million tons of coal for the whole year of 2009.

China imported 10.02 million tons of anthracite, one of the main types of coal imported by China, in the first four months of this year, up 19.5 percent year-on-year. The import of coking coal also surged to 6.27 million tons in the same period.

Coal demand of steelmakers and metallurgy enterprises was the main driving force behind the increase of coal import, some analysts said.

The deadlock between coal suppliers and power producers is also responsible for the rise of China's coal import. Key power generators preferring to purchase overseas coal with a lower price drove up the coal import, according to the customs.

(Chinadaily.com.cn June 19, 2009)

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