Thursday, February 16, 2012

About that Soft Landing: Chinese Coal Use Plummets

From China's Economic Observer:


来自秦皇岛煤炭网资讯中心的数据显示,截至2月2日—2月8日当周,环渤海动力煤价格指数连续第13周出现下跌,当前平均价格779 元/吨,周环比下跌3元/吨,降幅0.38%,整体来看,13周累计下滑了74 元,降幅接近10%....
Just funnin' ya. The EO does an English language summary:
Coal Price Fall Sharply as Electricity Demand Declines
News, page 3                                                
~ The price of thermal coal at many ports including Qinhuangdao and Caofeidian has fallen sharply recently. Coal prices have fallen for 13 weeks in a row, with prices for a ton of 5,500-kilocalorie coal falling as far as 30 yuan below the price ceiling of 800 yuan per ton that was set by the National Development and Reform Commission in December last year.

~ The price of thermal coal in the Bohai area has also dropped 74 yuan over the past 13 weeks, a decline of almost 10 percent. Prices for ship-borne coal have also hit an all-time low. Given that coal reserves at both the downstream coal-fired power plants and also at ports remain at high levels, all the signs are suggesting that coal prices will continue to decline.

~ In addition, given the fall in demand for electricity and the China Electricity Council (中电联) along with other institutions have forecast that the growth in energy usage will slow this year, making it more likely that there will be a slowdown in China's economy at the beginning of this year. 
~ "In general, the period from December to March is considered a low-season for the electricity and coal business and there have been similar price falls in the past. But it's rare that we see a consecutive decline in coal prices that lasts more than ten weeks," Li Zhaoli (李朝林), a researcher from the China Coal Transportation and Sales Society told the EO.

~ Other analysts said that the fall in coal prices is taking place against the back drop of the global economic slowdown, which has weakened market demand, with bad weather effecting iron ore production in Australia and Brazil also adding to likelihood that recent falls in the price of coal will continue.
Original article: [Chinese]
Also at the Economic Observer:
农业布局“走出去” 三大央企圈定重点