China Tells Power Firms to Cap Coal Purchase Cost: Futures Daily

China’s top economic planning agency requested power companies to cap the buying price of coal amid a surge in the cost of the fuel, the Futures Daily reported.

The cap was set at 640 yuan ($98) per ton after a Saturday meeting between the National Development Reform and Commission and 10 power operators, the report said, citing people it didn’t identify. The NDRC will investigate the origins of coal purchases if prices go above the cap, and require companies to file a report, Futures Daily said.

The agency also asked companies to avoid getting high-priced coal as much as possible, and coordinate supplies among the power plants they own.

A series of deadly mining accidents has hit output, while self-imposed import restrictions limited shipments from overseas. That has led to a supply crunch at a time when winter demand for heating is peaking and industrial activity is surging, pushing up coal prices.

Futures Daily also said all restrictions on coal imports -- except for those from Australia -- will be removed. China has blacklisted a wide swathe of Australian commodities and food products amid a worsening diplomatic spat, with more than $500 million worth of Australian coal stranded on ships anchored off Chinese ports.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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