China’s power cuts widen
MAINLAND CHINA & HONG KONG
Power rationing and forced cuts to factory production in China are widening amid electricity supply issues and a push to enforce environmental regulations.
The curbs have expanded to more than 10 provinces, including economic powerhouses Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Friday (24 September). Several companies have reported the impacts of power curbs in filings on mainland stock exchanges.
Local governments are ordering the power cuts as they try to avoid missing targets for reducing energy and emissions intensity source. The country’s top economic planner last month flagged nine provinces for increasing intensity over the first half of the year amid a strong economic rebound from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, record high coal prices are making it unprofitable for many power plants to operate, creating supply gaps in some provinces, the Business Herald reported. If those gaps expand the impact could be worse than power curtailments that hit parts of the country during the summer. – Bloomberg News.
On Thursday, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.38% to 3,642.22 while the Hang Seng Index upped 1.19% to 24,510.98.
REST OF ASIA
Trade reliant Thailand plans to launch a national shipping company next year to bolster its trade capabilities, reduce transport costs and become a bigger player in global logistics as the Malacca bypass opens.
“With Covid, we’re facing container shortages, so a lot of our goods can’t be shipped and some products will perish. Losses are incalculable,” Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said in an interview. “The shipping line can increase security and support the country’s ambition to become a logistics hub.”
Thailand’s commercial vessels contribute to less than 10% of its international freight. The country earned THB57.4b (USD1.7b) from shipping in 2020, but it had to spend almost 10 times that.
A reliance on foreign vessels increases costs, hurts trade competitiveness, and exacerbates disruptions in times of crisis, as seen now during the Covid pandemic with global shipping beleaguered by delays and backlogs at ports.
Thailand had a state-owned maritime navigation company from 1940 to 2011, but the government would not be reviving it. The new firm – for now dubbed Thai National Shipping Line – will instead be run as a private company to allow more flexibility, with the government owning 49% through the Port Authority of Thailand, Saksayam said. – Bloomberg News.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.04% to 7,367.40 on Friday morning, after gaining 1.00% to 7,370.20 the previous session.
South Korea’s Kospi Index upped 0.48% to 3,142.54 in early-Friday trading, reversing its 0.41% loss to 3,127.58 on Thursday.
The Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index climbed 0.90% to 17,078.22.
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