China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., the country’s largest coal mining group, reported on Wednesday that its net profits dropped 45.6 percent to 11.73 billion yuan (1.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of the year.
During the January-June period, the company’s business income came in at 87.78 billion yuan, down 32.1 percent year on year.
Shenhua attributed the drop to weak demand that affected both sales and prices. Coal sales by China Shenhua Energy slipped 24.2 percent during the period.
Government policies to encourage the use of non-fossil fuels have also affected sales, the company added.
Coal accounts for about 66 per cent of China’s primary energy consumption, 35 percentage points higher than the world average.
The country’s coal output fell in 2014 for the first time this century as a result of slowing economic growth, government efforts to reduce air pollution and increased investment in renewable energy.
China’s economy expanded 7 per cent year on year in the second quarter, unchanged from the first quarter but still much slower than the previous double-digit growth.
Overall coal production in China slipped 6.1 per cent in the first four months this year to 1.15 billion tonnes, with the pace of decline accelerating from a 3.5-per cent fall registered in the first three months of the year, official data revealed earlier.