Chinese price regulator warns thermal coal producers against price hikes

10:12, June 05, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

China's top economic planner and price regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has vowed to punish thermal coal producers for price hikes amid the country's current electricity shortage.

The NDRC warned that punishments could include heavy fines of up to five times the amount of revenues generated by the hikes.

The NDRC warning came after it raised prices of electricity for industrial, commercial and agricultural use across the country's 15 provinces and municipalities last month to encourage thermal power plants to generate more electricity.

The NDRC said it will strengthen its supervision of coal prices and launch a special inspection campaign for major coal-producing provinces and regions.

Beginning June 1, prices of electricity for industrial, commercial and agricultural uses in 15 provinces and municipalities were raised by 16.7 yuan (about 2.57 U.S. dollars) per 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kwh).

State-controlled contract prices for thermal coal, which is sold directly to power plants by coal producers, have remained almost unchanged since last year. Prices currently stand at 570 yuan per metric ton.

Prices for regular coal, however, have risen to 837 yuan per metric ton, creating great pressure for coal producers to raise the prices of thermal coal.

In addition, imported coal prices also soared this year, adding pressure to the domestic coal market, where many analysts predict further hikes amid increasing electricity demands and decreased supplies of hydropower due to a lingering drought in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

The NDRC has urged coal producers to increase production while strengthening its inspection of coal prices.

Last month, the NDRC and the Ministry of Railways sent a joint inspection team to review contracts related to thermal coal supplies to China's key coal-producing regions of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia.

China's top economic planner also met with managers of major coal companies, including the country's largest coal producers China Shenhua and China Coal, and instructed them to stabilize the thermal coal market.

Source: Xinhua

Wen Jiabao attends trilateral leaders' meeting of China,Japan and ROK
The Third China-U.S.Strategic and Economic Dialogue
  Weekly review  
May 27   Kim calls for close ties through generations
May 23   China intends to enhance friendship with Japan
May 23   Expert: Ecological problems not all due to Three Gorges Dam
May 24   Top military official's visit promotes China-US military ties
May 28   The week in pictures
May 25   'China fever' sweeps US tourism industry
May 26   US should not monopolize cyber affairs
May 26   Salty tide hits Shanghai as drought lingers
May 25   A new chapter for China-South Africa cooperation
May 27   Military trusted most of all Chinese institutions


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • China battles droughts
  • Wen Jiabao attends trilateral leaders' meeting of China, Japan and ROK
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • More Chinese enterprises expected to invest in Italy's Lombardy region: Xi Jinping
  • Chinese DM meets senior U.S. diplomat on sidelines of security summit
  • China vows closer bonds with SADC
  • Top political advisor calls for efforts to develop China's central mountainous region
  • Chinese premier calls for stronger efforts to combat drought
  • Mexican volcano rumbles
Hot Forum Dicussion