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Chinese coal prices reach an all-time high, power outages persist 



Flooding in northern China has severely damaged a key coal production hub, sending coal prices skyrocketing and hampering Beijing’s efforts to address persistent power shortages.

According to a statement published Saturday by the provincial government’s Emergency Management Bureau, heavy rains have forced the closure of 60 coal mines in Shanxi province, China’s largest coal mining centre.

The province produces one-quarter of the country’s coal. 

The floods hamper China’s efforts to expand fuel supply in order to alleviate the country’s increasing energy crisis. 

Torrential rains this week caused home collapses and landslides in more than 70 districts and towns across the northern province.

Even before the disaster, China was experiencing an energy crisis, resulting in power outages in vast sections of the nation. 

A succession of power outages has prompted industries to reduce production or shut down altogether since last month.

Northeast China’s manufacturing hubs have been particularly badly impacted.

The latest increase in thermal coal prices comes on top of a 12% increase on Monday.

Energy prices have been rising globally as the global economy begins to recover from the epidemic.

On Monday, the price of Brent crude reached its highest level since October 2018, while the price of US-traded oil reached a new seven-year high. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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