Oct 22, 2021 04:47 AM

Energy Insider: China Releases Potash Reserves to Stabilize Fertilizer Market


In today’s Caixin energy news wrap: Power plants see easing pressure of tight coal inventories as regulators pledge to intervene against irrational price rises; gas suppliers feel the pinch of rising costs; regulators call for more electricity from clean energy sources.

China releases potash fertilizer from strategic reserves

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced plans to auction potash fertilizer from state reserves to meet demand for spring ploughing next year. According to NDRC spokesman Meng Wei, potash prices nearly hit decade highs this year reflecting high demand and rising production costs. The opening of the reserves is intended to expand supply and encourage production, stabilizing fertilizer prices.

China may intervene to fight coal price increases

China’s top economic planner is reviewing potential interventions in the coal market as central government departments and local authorities roll out measures to tamp down high prices that are threatening energy security and economic growth. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has “zero tolerance” for those spreading false information or engaging in market collusion, the commission said Tuesday at a meeting. The NDRC dispatched an inspection team the next day to China’s main coal transportation port at Qinhuangdao.

China’s thermal coal futures fell by the limit in overnight trading following the Tuesday meeting, ending a surge in which the fuel more than doubled since the beginning of September amid blackouts and power restrictions.

Coal stockpiles rebound at power plants

Coal supplies increased as China expanded coal production to ease the national power shortage. Coal stockpiles at key power plants rose by more than 10 million tons from last month, according to data from the National Development and Reform Commission. Inventories in northeastern regions rose by more than 5 million tons, enough to support 24 days of operation.

Urban natural gas supplier squeezed by surging prices

Surging natural gas prices around the world drove up costs for local gas companies in China heading into the heating season. Hebei Tianranqi Co. Ltd., a local gas company in northern China’s Hebei province, said last week it would raise gas prices as its supplier CNOOC raised prices by 1.6 yuan ($0.25) per cubic meter.

China to foster consolidation in rare earth and logistics sectors

China will promote business consolidation in the rare earth minerals and logistics sectors to create world-class market players, an official of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) said Wednesday. Leading companies in the sectors will be combined, the official said.

China to promote power grid connection to clean-energy generators

China’s National Energy Administration urged the country’s power grids to connect with wind and solar power generators to improve and diversify the country’s power supply. Companies should accelerate construction of links between renewable energy sources and grid networks and improve distribution of clean energy, the administration said.

Ganfeng acquires $13.2 million stake in Argentinean lithium project

The Ganfeng Lithium Netherlands unit of Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. bought 8.58% of Litio Miñera Argentina (LMA) from International Lithium (ILC) for $13.2 million, the parent company said Wednesday. The acquisition wins Ganfeng a stake in Litio’s lithium projects in Argentina.

Zhongman Petroleum wins exploration rights in Tarim Basin

Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group won oil exploration rights for 20 years in the Tarim Basin oil field in Xinjiang, the company said. The oil field has more than 30 million tons of oil reserves and 449 million cubic meters of natural gas.

Construction of $1.6 billion solar panel project starts in North China

A photovoltaic project with capacity of 2 million kilowatt-hours started construction in northern China’s Ningxia province. Owned by China Energy Investment Corp., the project involves an investment of more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) and is expected to save 960,000 tons of coal each year that if burned would emit 2.62 tons of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change.

Contact editors Han Wei ( and Bob Simison (

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