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Coal exports down as tariff bites
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China's exports of coal fell 20.9 percent in the first nine months of 2007, compared with the same period last year, while imports rose by nearly half over the same period as the impact of export tariffs was felt.


According to the Chinese General Administration of Customs, exports fell to 38.01 million tons between January and September this year.


Meanwhile, the country imported 38.61 million tons of coal, up 47.6 percent year on year, said the General Administration of Customs.


In September alone, the nation's coal exports stood at 4.47 million tons, and imports, 3.62 millions tons, with sales surpassing arrivals for the third month running.


The nation, the world's largest coal producer, began to levy a tariff of 5 percent on coal export from last November. As the domestic coal price has been on the rise recently as a result of robust demand, the nation's coal producers prefer to sell their products domestically.


The nation's monthly coal exports were 4.47 million tons in September, down from 4.68 million tons in July and 5.73 million tons in August.


(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2007)


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