Vietnam is expected to export a maximum of 10.5 million tonnes of coal in 2013, a year-on-year decrease of 5 million tonnes, with consumption of Vietnamese coal also falling from 43 million tonnes to 39 million.

The figures were released by Nguyen Van Bien, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Corporation (Vinacomin), on June 18. He attributed the decline to the slow growth in the world economy and low selling prices

Meanwhile, coal supply in China, whose production and consumption account for over 50 percent of the world market, is surpassing its demand, causing pressure for price decreases in the global coal market.

Bien said that after paying the current 10 percent export tax, Vietnam’s earnings from coal exports were only enough to cover its production expenses and it was unable to turn a profit. A further three percent rise in the tax, effective from July 7, is set to make things even more difficult for the country’s coal industry.

In the last half of 2013, Vinacomin will prioritise ensuring jobs for its employees, reducing output for some affiliates and discovering new mining areas to exploit.

It will also focus on stabilising production, ensuring financial safety and energy security and satisfying domestic demand.-VNA