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Coal Prices Drop as Weather Warms up
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Coal prices fell in China last month as the weather warmed up resulting in a falling demand, a report released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Tuesday.

The price of high quality coal per ton was down 12 yuan compared from the peak price in early January of 463 yuan, said the report.

Falling freight costs also dragged down prices, according to the report.

Freight prices of coal in major Chinese ports, including Shanghai and Guangzhou, ranged from 575 to 600 yuan, a decrease of 22 to 30 yuan per ton from the end of January.

February saw the first monthly drop in production in 11 months, down 5.5 percent from February last year to stand at 126.8 million tons.

Production in the first two months totaled 307 million tons, up 2.6 percent from a year ago.

China is the world's biggest coal producer and consumer. Last year, its coal output grew eight percent to reach 2.38 billion tons.

(Xinhua News Agency March 28, 2007)

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