Hi everyone. I’m Stephanie LI.
Coming up on today’s program.
Floods in Shanxi Province push thermal coal futures to an all-time high;
President Xi Jinping pledges a 1.5 billion yuan fund to help developing countries support biodiversity.
Here’s what you need to know about China in the past 24 hours
Thermal coal futures surged to a record high in China as key mining regions suffered severe flooding, complicating efforts to boost supply and halt an escalating energy crisis.
Coal futures on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange soared 5 percent Wednesday to 1562.8 yuan per ton, after jumping 12 and 7 percent on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The record-setting price has skyrocketed almost 700 yuan from the end of August.
Heavy rainfalls hit Shanxi in recent days, the country's top coal producing province. At least 15 people have been killed during the floods that has affected more than 1.75 million people in the province, local officials said on Tuesday.
Floods closed 60 out of the 682 coal mines in Shanxi, though some sites are now slowly resuming operations. Another two mines in the neighbouring Shaanxi province have also been impacted by torrential rains.
The floods have further complicated China's efforts to increase fuel supplies to ease its deepening energy crunch. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2020, Shanxi produced 1.06 billion tonnes of raw coal, and coal accounts for 64 percent of China’s power generation.
In fact, even before the flooding, China was already facing an energy shortage in large parts of the country. Prices have soared this year as mine output failed to keep up with surging post-pandemic demand. Shortages and high prices have led to power cuts to factories and even residents in parts of the country.
Last Friday, Beijing ordered a boost of output in coal mines. The National Energy Administration (NEA) said it will urge main coal-producing areas to increase production and supply, speed up the resumption of production if conditions permit, and increase coal imports. Experts believe the price hike is a short-term situation due to transport delays caused by the recent floods.
The Kunming Declaration was adopted on Wednesday at the first part of COP15. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday in the speech at COP15 announced China's initiative to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan to the fund. The fund will be used to support biodiversity protection in developing countries.
Next on industry and company news
China's foreign trade in goods in the first three quarters of 2021 totaled 28.33 trillion yuan, up by 22.7 percent year-on-year, the latest data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday. Exports grew by 22.7 percent on a yearly basis to 15.55 trillion yuan and imports rose by 22.6 percent to 12.78 trillion yuan.
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technology set up new business units focusing on providing smart services to ports, highways, data networks and solar plants, according to media report Tuesday, citing internal documents.
Sinic Holdings Group Co. became the latest Chinese real estate firm to warn of imminent default. The Shanghai-based developer doesn’t expect to repay a $250 million bond due Oct. 18, which may trigger cross-default on two other notes, it said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing.
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday projected that the global economy would grow by 5.9 percent in 2021, down by 0.1 percent from July's forecast, according to the latest World Economic Outlook.
Switching gears to the financial sector
A team led by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection will start a two-month anti-graft check of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), and accept complaint reports from whistleblowers until Dec. 15, according to a statement released late Monday.
Wrapping up with a quick look at the stock market
Chinese stocks closed higher on Wednesday with a combined turnover of less than 890 billion yuan. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.42 percent to 3562 points. The Shenzhen Component Index closed 1.54 percent higher at 14353 points. Trading on Hong Kong’s stock market was cancelled today as a Signal No.8 storm warning for Typhoon Kompasu plunged the city into shutdown mode.
Biz Word of the Day
Futures are derivative financial contracts that obligate the parties to transact an asset at a predetermined future date and price. The buyer must purchase or the seller must sell the underlying asset at the set price, regardless of the current market price at the expiration date.
Executive Editor: Sonia YU
Editor: LI Yanxia
Host: Stephanie LI
Writer: Stephanie LI, ZHANG Ran, TIAN Chang
Producer: XIANG Xiufang
Sound Editor: ZHANG Ran, Andy YUAN
Graphic Designer: ZHENG Wenjing, LIAO Wanni
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