SHIJIAZHUANG, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China's benchmark power coal price remained flat during the past week.
The Bohai-Rim Steam-Coal Price Index (BSPI), a gauge of coal prices in northern China's major ports, stood at 579 yuan (about 86 U.S. dollars) per tonne Wednesday, according to Qinhuangdao Ocean Shipping Coal Trading Market Co. Ltd.
A number of factors helped stabilize coal prices, the company said.
Prices of coal from the northwestern province of Shaanxi rose as production in some regions did not resume as quickly as expected, raising purchase costs and thus providing support for selling prices at the ports, it said.
The buyers, however, had bigger bargaining power as the power plants in the coastal areas started entering the maintenance period since late in the month, driving their daily consumption to the lowest level in nearly two months.
Meanwhile, the country's major power plants had a high inventory, rising to exceed 70 million tonnes again in two months.
Prices are expected to rise later this year. The thermal coal future contract for September delivery on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange rose to as high as 606.6 yuan per tonne during the intraday trading Wednesday.
Released by the Qinhuangdao Ocean Shipping Coal Trading Market Co. Ltd. every Wednesday, the BSPI is considered a leading indicator of China's coal prices.