China’s coal imports surge
Rising coal and natural gas prices have caused a shortage of energy resources. As a result, several provinces in China have been facing power outages since mid-September. Meanwhile, the government’s desire to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and reduce the use of coal has been behind electricity supply shortages as China is now focused on becoming the so-called green economy.
In September, China’s coal mining dropped by 0.9% to 330 million tons from the same period in 2020 and down by 1.8% since 2019. At the same time, the country increased its coal imports in September: the indicator soared by 76% on a yearly basis.
In the first three quarters of 2021, coal production grew by 3.7% year-on-year to 2.93 billion tons. In January-September 2019, coal production output rose by 3.6%. Meanwhile, imports fell by 3.6% to 230.4 million tons annually.
Provinces Shanxi and Shaanxi, as well as the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, are China’s main coal mining regions. Amid an acute shortage of electricity, they pledged to supply 145 million tons of coal to power plants in other Chinese regions at a lower price in the 4th quarter of the year.