Economy

China power crisis: thermal coal inventory nears record low as country suffers worst outages in a decade

In past years, when the calendar turned to September, China’s power-generation groups set out to replenish their coal inventories ahead of the cold winter months.This year, coal is so scarce that they are struggling to merely keep the lights on. And some are failing even at that.As of September 21, the total stockpile of thermal coal – used to generate electricity – held by the nation’s six major power-generation groups stood at just 11.31 million tonnes – which is capable of meeting demand for…

Central bank digital currencies can make cross border payments ‘faster and cheaper’, BIS says

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can slash the time needed for cross border payments to seconds from days and cut costs, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) said, citing a pilot scheme to test the digital forms of fiat currencies.The trial showed cross border transactions could be made in a few seconds, instead of three to five days, as CBDCs help skirt complicated arrangements under which payments are passed via a network of banks, the BIS said in a report on Tuesday.CBDCs also…

China’s US trade-deal purchases remain more than 30 per cent short of target, PIIE report says

China remained on course to be more than 30 per cent short of its 2021 commitments under the phase-one trade deal with the United States with four months left, according to the latest analysis of trade data between the world’s two largest economies.The US and China signed their long-awaited deal in January 2020, and the terms outlined in the agreement took effect one month later, with China committed to buying an additional US$200 billion worth of goods and services over 2020-21, relative to…

US Treasury’s Yellen declines to take IMF chief’s calls over alleged manipulation of China’s business-climate rating

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has declined to return calls from the beleaguered head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, since a scandal broke, indicating that the Biden administration’s withholding of support for her goes beyond its public statements.Since Georgieva was accused earlier this month of improperly intervening in a World Bank report in her prior job there, she has made attempts to speak with Yellen but has failed to get through, people familiar with…

Clothing is about to cost more at the store as China’s rising demand drives the price of cotton to nine-year high

Cotton extended a rally to its highest price since January 2012 with crop concerns in top shipper US compounding a tighter supply scenario driven by strong demand.Prices are up for a fifth day in New York, after jumping 4 per cent last week on speculation demand will rise in top user China. US cotton certified stock levels continued to fall after peaking in late June, signalling good export demand, said John Robinson, an economist at Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension in College Station.“This is a…

China’s industrial profit growth slows due to high commodity prices, coronavirus, component shortages

Profits at China’s industrial firms grew at a weaker pace in August from a year earlier, slowing for a sixth consecutive month, as manufacturers struggled with high commodity prices, the coronavirus and shortages in some key components.Profits rose 10.1 per cent year on year to 680.3 billion yuan (US$105 billion) last month compared with a 16.4 per cent gain in July, data from China’s statistics bureau showed on Tuesday.Momentum in the world’s second-biggest economy has weakened in recent…

China hits out at ‘erroneous, dangerous’ WTO ruling in US solar cell row

China lambasted a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling in a row with the United States over Washington’s measures to limit the import of solar panel cells, calling it “erroneous and dangerous” on Monday.A WTO panel handed a victory to the US earlier this month, rejecting all four of China’s claims and saying the measures did not breach global trade rules. China said last week it would appeal the decision.At the private meeting, China’s delegate expressed “deep concern with the systematically…