BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's coal consumption growth slowed in 2013, with the price of coal declining, according to the China National Coal Association (CNCA).
The country's year-round coal production increased slightly to 3.7 billion tonnes in 2013. Consumption stood at 3.61 billion tonnes, with growth slowing to 2.6 percent year on year, according to CNCA data.
In 2013, the coal inventory edged up 700,000 tonnes to 84 million tonnes. Net coal imports totaled 320 million tonnes, up 40 million tonnes from 2012. The fixed asset investment in the coal industry hit 470.7 billion yuan (77.16 billion U.S. dollars), the CNCA said.
Meanwhile, coal enterprises faced increasing troubles like surging costs and shrinking profits, according to the data.
Jiang Zhimin, CNCA vice president, forecasts that the overall situation of demand and supply will not alter amid the high coal inventory and large pressures in business operation in the first half of 2014.
The sector faces more challenges as the country puts greater emphasis on economic restructuring and transforming the growth pattern. Tackling outdated production capacity and improving environmental protection are helping upgrade the coal industry, Jiang added.