It has been a tough year for international coal markets.
On 1 January, Indonesia banned exports to protect supplies for its power stations. The month-long measure by the world’s largest coal exporter injected volatility into the international coal market, but the war in Ukraine really set prices rocketing.
Data from the website Markets Insider shows that coal cost US$190.65 a tonne the day before Russia invaded Ukraine and more than doubled to $439 in the following weeks. It then fell to $395 on 13 July – still 107% higher than before the war.
The Western-led sanctions on Russia are a factor in the price increase, causing several countries to look elsewhere for supplies and worsening shortages on international markets.
What did this mean for China, the world’s biggest producer, consumer and importer of coal? And how will the energy security concerns arising from tight global coal supplies affect the country’s progress towards its…