- Zhengzhou thermal coal futures in January hit record high
- The price spike comes a day after the liberalization of the gas market 'electricity by government
- Coal imports at year high in September
- Data shows Chinese September exports unaffected by shortages electricity
BEIJING, October 13 (Hfrance.fr) - China's coal imports jumped 76% in September as power plants rushed to find carburant to alleviate the electricity crisis that is pushing domestic coal prices to record highs and disrupting business activity in the world's second-largest economy.
Flooding in a key coal-producing province has worsened supply prospects, analysts expecting electricity and rationing continue early next year.
China, the world's largest consumer of coal, is grappling with a growing energy crisis caused by shortages and record prices for fuel. The government has taken a series of measures to boost coal production and manage the demand for electricity in industrial facilities, while power producers and other coal users have increased their imports.
On Tuesday, the government tookits most daring step in a decades-long reform of the electricity sector by allowing coal-fired power plants to pass on high production costs to certain end users through market-determined electricity prices , adding to concerns about building global inflationary pressures. learn more
The Chinese state planner said at a press briefing on Wednesday that he will guarantee domestic supplies of coal and energy for this winter while ensuring that the country's climate change targets are met. B9N2QE019
Daily coal production reached its highest level since February at over 11.2 million tonnes, while average stocks ofcoal in its power plants can withstand around 15 days of use, according to an official from the National Energy Administration at the same press conference. L1N2R90M0
Official data on Wednesday showed that China's coal imports last month hit their highest level this year.
Imports totaled 32.88 million tonnes in September, up 76% from the previous year. The monthly tally was the fifth highest on record, according to calculations by Hfrance.fr.
More than half of mainland China's regions managed by State Grid imposed energy consumption. cuts since last month.
Monthly coal imports into China since 2015
Local governments in China's major coal-producing regions, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, have ordered some 200 mines to boost production, but relentless rains have flooded 60 mines in Shanxi. Four mines with a combined annual production capacity of 4.8 million tonnes remained closed, a Shanxi official said on Tuesday.
Multiple people were killed and millions more affected by flooding caused by heavy rains in northern Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, according to official Xinhu news agencya.
Zhengzhou's most active January thermal coal futures on Wednesday hit a record 1,640 yuan (254 , $ 44) per tonne, after nearly tripling since the start of the year.
The jump comes a day after Beijing announced that 'he allow power plants to bill market-based electricity prices to commercial customers, a significant departure from the previous policy that allowed industry to enter into fixed-price agreements with suppliers.
Energy intensive industries such as steel, aluminum, cement and chemical producers are expected to face higher and more volatile electricity costs in part of the new policy, which gonfle their costs and weighed on their profit margins. 'unexpectedly accelerated in September, with strong global demand offsetting electricity shortages and other issues. read more
"Although rationing electricity does not appear to have derailed the export sector so far, there is still a risk it will do so in the coming weeks, "Julian Evans-Pritchard said. China Senior Economist at Capital Economics in a note.
"And while officials have made it clear that electricity rationing is on the rise. focus on high intensity sectorsenergy such as ls and chemicals, the impact on production in these industries could filter through supply chains and hurt downstream exporters. "
Factories in the eastern provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang, two major exporting powers, have been asked to stagger their production throughout the week.
The European Chamber of Commerce said some European companies in the country are facing order delays while others are unhappy with the way Chinese authorities notify them of power cuts sometimes late in the day. at night. learn more
China, the world's largest steel producer, on Wednesday asked steelworks in 28 cities to cut productionwinter by at least 30% to achieve production and climate objectives.
China isn 't the only nation struggling with the power supply, which has led to fuel shortages and blackouts. electricity in some countries. The crisis has highlighted the difficulty of reducing the global economy's dependence on fossil fuels as world leaders seek to revive efforts to tackle climate change during talks next month in Glasgow. learn more
INCREASE IN COAL IMPORTS
The gigantic Chinese industrial engine, which produces mountains of Electronics, toys, clothing and equipment for global markets, saw total energy consumption in September.e and to date increase year on year.
Last month's consumption increased by 6.8% compared to a year earlier to 694.7 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh), bringing total electricity consumption in the first nine months up 12.9% year-on-year.
Primary energy source in China by fuel figcaption >
Hfrance.fr reported last week that China had freed Australian coal from bonded storage but failed to lift a ban on it 'import unofficial almost a year on fuel. find out more
Exports from other key suppliers, such as Russia and Mongolia, were constrained by limited rail capacity, while shipments from Indonesia were hampered by the rainy weather. learn more
China's energy crisis is expected to last through winter, with analysts and traders forecasting a 12% drop in energy consumption industrial energy in the fourth quarter as coal supplies are insufficient and local governments prioritize residential users. learn more
($ 1 = 6.4455 yuan Chinese renminbi) Report by Gavin Maguire in Singapore, Muyu Xu and Shivani Singhin Beijing; additional reporting by Emily Chow in Shanghai; Edited by Lincoln Feast and Kim Coghill
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