The Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) is expected to produce only 39 million tonnes of coal this year, a significant drop of 4 million tonnes.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade released the sales figures, 9.3 percent lower than targeted, which will come as a slight disappointment to the mining giant.

About 10.5 million tonnes of the total coal was for export and 28.5 million tonnes consumed domestically. Last month saw the lowest coal consumption this year with 2.1 million tones, only 0.25 million of which were for export.

Vinacomin expects to earn 97.9 trillion VND (4.64 billion USD) this year, meeting 93.8 percent of the yearly target. Its coal operations will generate 53.4 trillion VND of the total.

Despite the drop in coal consumption, the corporation is still set to make a targeted profit of 2.5 trillion VND on coal, aiding Vinacomin's 10.78 trillion VND contribution to the State budget.

Vinacomin said the low figure was due to higher export tax rates of 13 percent being applied from July 7. It was forced to halt its coal exports as its costs were almost equal to export prices.

The group last week proposed lowering coal export taxes to 10 percent in order to lift coal consumption by the end of the year.

At a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai in coal mining Quang Ninh province, Vinacomin's Members Council Chairman Tran Xuan Hoa declared that the move is essential to halt declining coal sales.-VNA