NDRC vows heavier punishment on profiteering on coal to stabilize prices
Published: Oct 26, 2021 12:47 PM
Photo taken on Dec. 22, 2020 shows a thermal coal yard of Huanghua Port in Cangzhou City, north China's Hebei Province. Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Dec. 22, 2020 shows a thermal coal yard of Huanghua Port in Cangzhou City, north China's Hebei Province. Photo: Xinhua

China's top economic planner vowed to exert more pressure to prevent profiteering on coal, in a bid to stabilize coal prices in a long run and supply for power generation.

It is the latest move for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to announce such determination to curb rising coal prices. 

NDRC said on its WeChat account on Tuesday that it has organized and carried out a survey of coal industry participants, calculated the average coal market price, price difference and profit rate, and it will comprehensively consider the establishment of a long-term price mechanism based on reasonable costs, normal profits and market changes.

NDRC stressed that it will strictly punish those behaviors that do not strictly implement required market price mechanisms.

The NDRC have issued more than 10 consecutive regulations in the past week to fully increase coal production and punish malicious capital speculation, in a bid to guide coal prices to return to a reasonable level. 

On Monday night, the regulator instructed centrally owned enterprises to enhance the coal supplies. On the same day, it initiated evaluation and compliance review of coal and other energy price index behaviors to curb the rise caused by speculation. Also on Monday, the regulators issued guidance saying that the credit supervision of medium- and long-term coal contract performance shall be strengthened.

On Friday, NDRC said at the meeting, attended by some key coal companies, that they should set prices reasonably, and severe penalties will be imposed on those who engage in profiteering.

According to data from the planner, since the end of September, the country's average daily coal output has increased by more than 1.2 million tons compared with September, and that the daily output has continuously reached new highs this year. 

Recently, many coal mines like those in Datong, Shuozhou, Mengdong, Ordos and Yulin dotted in those coal provinces have taken the initiative to reduce coal pit sales prices by more than 100 yuan ($15) per ton, and the highest price cut has reached 360 yuan per ton.

NDRC data showed that coal production has increased. Coal reserve accessible by power generators reached 95.69 million tons on Sunday, an increase of 17 million tons from the end of September, equivalent to 17 days of power supply.

Global Times