China to crack down on illegal coal price gouging

China will stringently crack down on illegal activities of bidding up prices in coal spot and futures markets, the country's top economic planner said Friday.

Malignant price hikes were seen in domestic coal markets although the country currently has sufficient daily coal output and storage, which adversely affected the market order and energy security, said the National Development and Reform Commission in a statement online.

The commission has come up with plans for ensuring coal output and stabilizing coal prices during the Spring Festival period and it will enhance market regulation and fight against illegal price gouging in coal spot and futures markets. As of Wednesday, China's coal storage had hit a record high at 170 million tonnes, an increase of 52 million tonnes from a year ago, according to the commission.

The Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on Feb. 1 this year with a seven-day holiday starting from Jan. 31.

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