The production and sales of coal declined in the first eight months in China, according to the China Coal Industry Association Sunday.
China produced 2.52 billion tonnes of coal from January to August this year, down 1.4% from the same period last year, according to China's News Agency (Xinhua).
The coal sold over the same period fell 1.6% year on year to 2.4 billion tonnes.
The association attributed the flagging industry mainly to the current "off-peak season in terms of demand" and low coal prices in the international market.
China's coal imports and exports also dropped. In the first eight months, China imported 202 million tonnes, down 5.3% year on year. Over the same period, the country exported 3.93 million tonnes, down 27.5%.
Coal stockpiles remained at a high level, amounting to more than 300 million tonnes. This is the 33rd month in a row that the figure has stayed above the 300-million-tonne line.
Prices also fell. On Sept. 12, China's coal price index was 136.4 points, 21.6 points lower than the beginning of the year, and 86.4 points lower than the record high registered in July 2008.
The association also released the profit data for the first seven months for Chinese coal companies, which declined 43.9% year on year. Up to now, more than 70% of Chinese coal firms are having losses.