Illustrative image (Source: Internet)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam imported more than 9.7 million tonnes of coal valued at 600 million USD over the past eight months, almost double the quantity in the same period last year, according to the latest statistics from the General Department of Customs.

This was an increase of 191 percent in volume and 107 percent in value over the same period last year and triple the target set earlier this year by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The country imported an average of 1.2 million tonnes of coal, worth over 75 million USD each month, according to the data.

Russia remained the biggest seller of coal to Vietnam with 2.8 million tonnes. Indonesia ranked second with 1.8 million tonnes and China third with 1.4 million tonnes.

Typically, the coal imported from Russia costs Vietnam only 63 USD per tonne, lower than Chinese coal at 71 USD per tonne.

The period’s high import volume was attributable to rising domestic demand, industry insiders said.

Increases in coal imports are unavoidable as local coal output might not increase significantly, they added.

According to a new master development plan for the coal sector by 2020 with a vision towards 2030, coal output will reach 47-50 million tonnes by 2020 and 55-57 million tonnes by 2030. But, domestic demand for coal would be double the local production output, around 112.3 million tonne by 2020 and 220.3 million by 2030.

Earlier this month, the ministry said the Government would consider gradually reducing overall imports as well as certain types of coal that were not in high demand.

Firms would be encouraged to import coal if they met with regulations, it said.-VNA