BEIJING, June 16 (Xinhua) -- China's ports have become overstocked with coal as the economic slowdown has substantially dampened domestic demand for the resource.
Coal stockpiles at the Qinhuangdao, Huanghua and Tangshan ports in north China's Hebei province have risen to 16 million tonnes, according to a statement posted Saturday on the website of the Hebei Port Group Co.
The nation's coal demand has faltered in recent months as domestic economic growth has decelerated amid the sluggish global economic recovery and the ongoing eurozone debt crisis, according to the statement.
The flagging manufacturing sector slowed the growth of the country's power consumption. In the first five months of 2012, gross power consumption increased 5.8 percent year on year to 1.96 trillion kwh, much lower than the 12-percent increase registered during the same period of last year.
Due to falling imported coal prices, China's coal imports jumped during the first quarter, which also led to rising coal stockpiles at the ports.
In early April, Wang Xianzheng, chairman of the China Coal Industry Association, said the country's coal demand will continue to slow during the second half of 2012 as domestic economic headwinds may pick up.