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China’s power supply struggles amid ban on Australian coal
Source: ABC
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  • Residents across China have taken to social media to complain of power rationing, amid a ban on Australia coal entering the country
  • Over the last few months, a significant number of coal deliveries from Australia have been left in limbo after being turned away by Beijing
  • At the same time, some areas in China have enforced limits on electricity usage amid higher coal prices and increased demand for heating during winter
  • However, officials within Beijing are denying there is a link between the import restrictions and reduced power supply
  • China has also held firm to its ban on Australian coal entering the country's ports

China's decision to block Australian coal from entering its ports may have backfired, amid reports of power rationing across the country.

Residents in the Zhejiang province, home to a total of 57 million people, have taken to Chinese social media to complain of power shortages.

Officials in the area have also asked for government buildings to restrict their use of heating, despite currently being the middle of winter.

Similar requests have been made in the Hunan province of China, home to more than 67 million people, where issues surrounding demand has prompted a scale-back in electricity usage.

The power rationing has also been blamed on higher coal prices, with the domestic price surging well above the government’s upper price limit, according to local media.

However, Chinese officials have denied that the increased price for coal has affected the country's supply of electricity.

“We have noticed coal prices have risen recently and that has caused widespread concern in society," National Reform Development Commission spokeswoman Meng Wei told the South China Morning Post.

"However, current coal market supply and demand are generally balanced, and coal supply this winter and next spring is guaranteed," Meng added.

The jump in coal prices comes after China unofficially banned Australian coal from entering its ports due to a deepening trade spat between the two countries.

Since September, a significant number of coal deliveries from Australia have been left in limbo after being turned away by Beijing.

The country said the rejections were due to internal export quota's being reached, however Australian officials believe it's due to political disagreements.

An estimated 60 vessels, carrying $700 million worth of coal product, have been affected by the ban.

Despite the jump in prices and power rationing within parts of China, Australian producers report their coal is still being turned away by China.

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