Digital Desk, New Delhi. A major coal production center is being severely affected by floods in northern China. Due to this coal prices are rising and Beijing’s ongoing efforts to deal with the power shortage are not being successful. Heavy rains have forced the closure of 60 coal mines in Shaanxi province, China’s biggest coal mining hub, according to a statement issued Saturday by the provincial government’s Emergency Management Bureau, according to CNN. The province accounts for a quarter of the country’s coal production.
According to the Securities Times, adjacent Shaanxi province ranks third in the country in coal production. Heavy rains have damaged it and the operation of local mines. The price of thermal coal futures, which is mainly used to generate electricity, rose 12 percent to an all-time high at 1,408 yuan ($219) per metric ton on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange on Monday. So far this year, the price has more than doubled, CNN reported.
Coal is the main source of energy in China and is widely used for heating, power generation and steelmaking. Last year coal made up about 60 percent of China’s total energy use. Energy shortages have spread to 20 Chinese provinces in recent weeks, forcing the government to ration electricity during peak hours and forcing some factories to suspend production. CNN reported that the shortage has hurt industrial production and is affecting China’s economic outlook.
Power shortages are the result of a number of factors, which have boosted demand and reduced supply. China’s post-pandemic manufacturing boom has been heavily dependent on fossil fuels. While hundreds of coal mines were closed or reduced production earlier this year to reduce carbon emissions. Due to this also the price of coal increased. Coal restrictions and weather conditions from major supplier Australia have also exacerbated the issue.