Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

China power crunch slams factories as coal lobby warns woes could stay until winter

EconomySep 30, 2021 02:02PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. A truck transports coal at a coal-fired power plant in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

By Gabriel Crossley and Shivani Singh

SHENYANG, China (Reuters) -Small firms caught in China's prolonged energy crunch are turning to diesel generators, or simply shutting shop, as coal industry officials voiced fears about stockpiles ahead of winter and manufacturing shrank in the world's no. 2 economy.

Beijing is scrambling to deliver more coal to utilities to restore supply as the northeast grapples with its worst power outages in years https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-seeks-calm-power-supply-fears-crunch-bites-2021-09-29, particularly the three provinces of Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin, home to nearly 100 million people.

Gao Lai, who runs an industrial laundry service in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning, said he was losing money after the power crunch forced him to hire a diesel generator.

"We can afford it for just four days, but if it's for longer, then the costs are too much, so we can't survive," he told Reuters.

"We are willing to make it work because the country needs it, but if (power curbs continue) in the long run, we have to think of a way out."

The curbs were triggered by shortages of coal, which fuels about two-thirds of China's power generation.

Thermal coal futures closed Thursday up 4.2% on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange after hitting an all-time high of 1,408 yuan ($218) per tonne.

The contract surged 96% in the July to September period on tight supplies and strong demand, its biggest quarterly jump since the first quarter of 2017, spurring the exchange to adopt trading limits.

Official data separately showed China's factory activity contracted in September https://www.reuters.com/business/china-factory-activity-unexpectedly-shrinks-services-recover-2021-09-30 for the first time since February 2020.

Since last week, more than 100 companies from electronic component manufacturers to gold miners have notified stock markets of production suspensions. Some have said they resumed production in the last two days, however.

The strain comes as the China Coal Industry Association warned it was "not optimistic" about supplies ahead of winter, the peak season for demand, and added that power plant inventories were now "obviously low".

It urged companies to "spare no effort" to boost supply and focus on sales to smaller, high-energy consumers who have not signed long-term supply contracts.

Although coal production hit a record in August, analysts with Chinese investment bank CICC said a recent spate of mine accidents had made regulators more cautious about approving expansions in output.

They said imports, down 10.3% on the year in the January to August period, were unlikely to rise significantly over the rest of 2021 and more local production had to be "freed".

SWITCH TO DIESEL

In Shenyang, staff at a steel parts factory that has been shut for the last few days said they had not yet rented a generator but might do so if rationing continued.

Zhai Junwang, manager of a company that rents standalone diesel-fired generators, said brisk business in recent days had led to a doubling in rates.

"There's very limited stock," he said, but added that he did not expect the situation to last, as most small factories using his generators were losing money.

The government has said its priority will be to guarantee household power and heating supplies over the winter, as state-run energy firm Sinopec (NYSE:SHI) pledged to boost imports of liquefied natural gas.

But Citi analysts said in a note they expected power shortages to persist in the peak winter season for heating, most of it coal-fired.

Experts are pressing for fundamental reforms to China's energy system.

The crisis was caused not by supply shortages but an inflexible grid system, said Zhang Boting of industry research group the China Society for Hydropower Engineering.

"The solution ... isn't simply relying on increasing power generating capacity, but boosting the ability of the grid to adjust peaks and solve the serious mismatches between energy loads and energy supplies," he said on the group's website.

($1=6.46107 Chinese yuan renminbi)

China power crunch slams factories as coal lobby warns woes could stay until winter
 

Related Articles

Top 5 Things to Watch in Markets in the Week Ahead
Top 5 Things to Watch in Markets in the Week Ahead By Investing.com - Dec 05, 2021

By Noreen Burke Investing.com -- Developments around the Omicron coronavirus variant will continue to be the main driver of market sentiment in the week ahead and this news flow,...

Pakistan receives $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia
Pakistan receives $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia By Reuters - Dec 04, 2021 5

By Syed Raza Hassan KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan on Saturday received a $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia, the prime minister's finance adviser said, as part of an...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email