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China launches major coal price index


08:20, May 24, 2013

TAIYUAN, May 23 (Xinhua) -- A coal price index offering an alternative gauge for the bulk commodity was launched on Thursday in China, the world's largest coal producer.

The China Taiyuan Coal Transaction Price Index is the country's first index to be based on a major coal-producing base, namely Shanxi Province.

Jointly released by China Taiyuan Coal Transaction Center (CTCTC) and China Finance Corp., a company owned by state-owned Xinhua News Agency, the index will initially collect samples from 144 monitoring points in the province.

The index will become more influential by expanding its price monitoring scope to cover other major coal-producing bases such as Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the provinces of Shaanxi and Henan later this year, said Qu Jianwu, director of CTCTC.

"An authoritative coal price index plays an important referential role in setting prices for the product in its trade, and will have a big influence over the commodity's price movement on the international market," said Mao Jinming, an expert in the coal industry.

China, the world's largest coal producer, accounts for over 40 percent of the world's total coal output. It is also the world's largest coal importer, consuming about one third of the global total.

The country launched its first coal price index, China Coal Price Index, in 2006, and the Bohai-rim Steam-Coal Price Index was set up in 2010.

Compared with other coal price indexes in China, the newly launched index will better reflect price changes in the coal production base and better guide the operations of coal production and sales companies.

The improvement in coal spot price indexes will also push forward the marketization of China's coal industry and lay a foundation for the establishment of a healthy futures market, said Wang Jun, director of Beijing CIFCO Institute.

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