At least three power coal price indices on the mainland have said that they will suspend the release of relevant price indices, mainly because the mainland coal prices are not light in the traditional off-season, but have jumped 20% in a month.
According to Reuters on May 13, a statement from the China Coal Transportation and Marketing Association said, “Due to the continued abnormal fluctuations in the recent power coal market, the release of the ‘CCTD Bohai Ring Power Coal Spot Reference Price’ has been suspended after research in order to stabilize coal market prices.”
Coal consultancy ── Fenwei Digital Information Technology Co., Ltd. also said that due to the recent unusual price fluctuations in the coal market and increased market wait-and-see, in order to avoid market participants from forming misjudgments on price trends, the CCI index team of China Coal Resources Network decided to suspend the release of CCI5500, CCI5000 and CCI4500 spot daily indices starting from May 11, 2021.
Another coal trading platform, eCoal.com, also suspended the public release of daily prices of eCoal indices, including the Northern Port Power Coal Flat Price Index and the Yangtze River Port Power Coal Flat Price Index.
Every year, the coal market on the mainland enters a low season after the Yellow New Year, but this year, unlike previous years, coal prices have been soaring.
According to China Energy News on April 26, as of April 20, the CECI Caofeidian Index 5,500 kcal price reached 771 yuan (RMB, same below) per ton, which is not only higher than the upper limit of the green range of 570 yuan per ton set by the National Development and Reform Commission of the Communist Party of China, but even set a new high after the Yellow New Year.
Some industry sources said: “Since the second half of last year, the overall price of electric coal has hit a multi-year high. By the off-season of coal demand in March this year, prices continued to rise irrationally.”
Coal prices are directly hit by thermal power plants, a number of power companies reflect the first quarter into the plant coal prices are ultra-high, an average of 760 yuan / ton or more, this price for power plants without medium and long-term contract security, procurement means a sure loss.
CEC Fuel Branch Deputy Secretary General Ye Chun said, in the first two months of this year, the mainland’s four major power generation group coal power enterprises Huaneng, Datang, Huadian, State Power Investment average unit price of incoming coal reached 805 yuan per ton, up 136 yuan per ton, procurement costs rose by more than 20 billion yuan, the four major power generation group coal power enterprises loss of 40.6%. Preliminary estimates for the first quarter of this year, the entire China coal power enterprises coal procurement costs will increase by an additional 47 billion yuan.