Coal Surges to another Record in China as Cold Wave Adds to Energy Crisis

Coal futures in China surged to another record to put a previously unthinkable level of 2,000 yuan (S$420) a tonne in sight, as a cold blast adds to the country’s energy crisis.
Cool weather has descended on eastern China, sparking an early start to the winter heating season in some areas. That is boosting demand for coal with inventories already low and electricity being curtailed for some industrial users.
The most active contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange rose as much as 6 per cent to 1,937.8 yuan a tonne on Tuesday (Oct 19). Futures have gained more than a third since the end of September and have closed at a record high in six consecutive sessions.
Coal price hikes are likely to be seen as the winter heating season approaches and are “likely to continue until the fourth quarter” on favourable coal supply and demand dynamics, Mr Dennis Ip, an analyst with Daiwa Capital Markets, said in a research note on Tuesday.
The continued gains come even as Beijing urges its mining giants to boost output to ensure supplies for winter heating, and as it raises electricity prices and curtails use for some industrial consumers.
Guangxi province, a major alumina and aluminium producer in southern China, announced on Sunday that it will impose a 50 per cent premium on electricity prices for the most energy-intensive industries.
Qinhuangdao, a key coal port, has reached an agreement with coal miners, power plants and railway operators to cap prices of some supplies at no more than 1,800 yuan a tonne, the Economic Daily reported, citing the country’s top economic planner.

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