China, the second largest economy and the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer goods shuts factories due to power shortages. This rises concerns that it could lead to shortages in supply hence increased commodity prices in different countries.
Widening power shortages in China have halted production at numerous factories including many supplying Apple and Tesla, while some shops in the northeast operated by candlelight and malls shut early as the economic toll of the squeeze mounted.
China is in the grip of a power crunch as a shortage of coal supplies, toughening emissions standards and strong demand from manufacturers and industry have pushed coal prices to record highs and triggered widespread curbs on usage. Rationing has been implemented during peak hours in many parts of northeastern China since last week, and residents of cities including Changchun said cuts were occurring sooner and lasting for longer, state media reported.
The power crunch has hurt production in industries across several regions of China and is dragging on the country’s economic growth outlook, analysts said.
The impact on homes and non-industrial users comes as night-time temperatures slip to near-freezing in China’s northernmost cities. The National Energy Administration (NEA) has told coal and natural gas firms to ensure sufficient energy supplies to keep homes warm during winter.
Liaoning province said power generation had declined significantly since July, and the supply gap widened to a “severe level” last week. It expanded power cuts from industrial firms to residential areas last week.
The city of Huludao told residents not to use high energy-consuming electronics like water heaters and microwave ovens during peak periods, and a resident of Harbin city in Heilongjiang province told Reuters that many shopping malls were closing earlier than usual at 4 p.m.