China bans coal trading company from publishing daily price indexes, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

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BEIJING: Chinese state planner banned influential coal trading company in major mining region of Shaanxi province from publishing price assessments and market information, as part of government efforts to regulate commodity markets and control high prices.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Yulin Coal Trading Center Corp publishes false price information and the company is not authorized to collect, edit and publish news and information.

The NDRC shut down Yulin’s price indexes and two Wechat accounts it managed, and asked the company not to publish any false information about the coal market on any channel.

“The NDRC will continue to strengthen monitoring of information (…) by limiting such activities, ensuring the supply of coal and stabilizing prices,” she said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

The manager in charge of price indexes at the Yulin Coal Trading Center did not respond to calls for comment.

The move follows Beijing’s new guidelines for the management of commodity and service price indexes, which indicate that regulators will suspend the activities of any price provider that does not comply with certain rules.

Yulin Coal Trading Center Corp, founded in 2009, is mainly involved in physical coal trading, logistics and consultancy. Until the ban, it published daily coal spot prices for Yulin town and surrounding areas.

Coal production at Yulin accounts for about 13% of China’s total coal production.

Coal prices in China are near record highs, fueled by concerns over tight supplies and strong demand.

Several coal index providers, including Inner Mongolia Coal Trading Center, have recently stopped updating their prices.

The most-traded thermal coal futures contract on China’s Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange fell 3% on Wednesday.

There are dozens of institutes that set the price of coal, including the China Electricity Council and the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association. Local consulting firms such as Fenwei Digital Information Technology and Yimei, a trading platform owned by Helue E-Commerce Corp, also publish coal prices.

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