China's coal production sees first drop since 2000

Updated: 2015-01-24 11:55


  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

BEIJING - China's coal production dropped in 2014, the first time since 2000, the China National Coal Association said Friday.

In the first 11 months of last year, China produced 3.5 billion tons of coal, 2.1 percent less than the same period in 2013, said Jiang Zhimin, vice-president of the CNCA, during a media briefing.

The CNCA estimated a 2.5 percent drop in production for the whole year.

As of the end of 2014, coal stocks in Chinese coal companies stood at 87 million tons, up 2.6 percent from the beginning of the year. Coal stocks in major power plants hit 94.6 million tons, 17.1 percent higher than the beginning of the year, the CNCA said.

In the first 11 months, major coal companies recorded profits of 110.5 billion yuan ($18 billion), down 44.4 percent from the same period in 2013. Over 70 percent of coal companies are in the negative zone, due to prominent issues such as salary reduction and arrears.

Contributing factors to the grim situation include sluggish coal demand, overcapacity and a large import volume, said Jiang, adding relief measures carried out by the coal industry were beginning to see some positive changes.

Jiang predicted that coal oversupply and pressure on coal companies will remain in 2015 as China enters a "new normal" featuring tightened environmental protection and quality growth with cleaner energy.