Some of the major regions in China suffer from blackouts. China authorities said that it is a long waited maintenance work that caused the blackouts but it may not be the case.
Australia supported a call for an international inquiry into China’s handling of Covid-19 when it first started in Wuhan. As a response, China bans or restricts a lot of Australian products including Coal. Coal imports from Australia have downed near %97 from the February high.
China’s electricity is dependent on coal. Nearly %59 of the produced electricity is coal-based. Hard restrictions on Australian coal is taking a toll on Chinese energy producers. South China Coal Futures surged %31.53 since the start of December.
The problem is not just about the price but about the shortages. China has been increasing the coal purchases from several countries including Russia, Mongolia, and Indonesia but so far it could not close the gap from Australian imports. Fast Covid-19 recovery of the economy has caused the energy consumption to 2018 level is not helping these shortages. If China can’t find an alternative, blackouts frequency may increase and this causes the economy to suffer.