Funny enough, when describing the energy crisis in Europe, a quote from Game of Thrones comes to mind "Winter is coming". The winter season is just around the corner but the situation in the EU gas market is not getting better. Power prices hit new historical records. Notably, the cost of all types of fuel is soaring. Even coal saw a surge in demand.
Currently, the coal price is hovering around $230 a ton. It jumped by 16.5%, which was 6% higher than the record level of 2008. Thus, the cost of coal in Europe has reached its highest level in the last 23 years. Europe is already experiencing a shortage of coal amid the record high global demand. Local suppliers are forced to compete with Asian ones due to a shortage of solid fuel in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, suppliers are unable to increase export volumes because of a sudden jump in demand. According to warehouse statistics, coal stockpiles in seaports have decreased to 4 million tons, the lowest level in the last five years.
One can say for sure this is one of the worst energy crises Europe has ever seen. European producers have to generate electricity by burning coal, not by gas turbine power plants amid the shortage of natural gas and its high cost. In early October, the global energy crunch forced Steag, a German electricity producer, to halt a power plant after it ran out of coal. There are many other companies that did the same. China is also dealing with the coal shortage after the closure of coal mines in order to achieve environmental goals by reducing harmful emissions. As a result, two-thirds of Chinese provinces considerably cut electric energy consumption. The largest petrochemical enterprises have suspended their work in the country, triggering a rise in the price of polymers by 10%.