China Shenhua Energy Co, the world's top coal producer by market value, on Wednesday said its commercial coal production for the first half of 2009 rose 17.6 percent from a year earlier to 105.8 million tonnes.

But coal sales were up only 7 percent to 123.1 million tonnes from January-June, as exports tumbled 42.5 percent to 6.1 million tonnes, the company said in a statement.

In June, China Shenhua's production rose 21.2 percent to 18.3 million tonnes, while sales rose 16.8 percent to 22.2 million tonnes. (Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, Editing by Chris Lewis)