The surge in prices for natural gas, coal and petroleum comes at a time when an energy crisis is sweeping the globe.
In China, more than a dozen provinces have been limited power since the end of September, while coal price is hitting record level, a bit double than last year. A sharp drop in coal inventories has become a problem for many power stations.
In Europe, gas futures prices have hit high record with “gas shortage”. Gas reserves in Europe are already 16 per cent below the five-year average, having hit a low record in September.
Wholesale gas prices have risen by 250 per cent so far this year, driven by a combination of supply and demand, and have soared by 70 per cent since August.
Supply bottlenecks in Russia, insufficient wind in the North Sea, rising demand in Asia, the closure of several platforms in the North Sea and inadequate natural gas storage are all contributing to the shortage. It comes at a time when Europe is entering winter, a period of surge in demand for heating, industry and power generation for homes, and further boosted by the reopening of economies after the outbreak. In addition, U.S. natural gas prices have risen to nearly a decade-old high, about double the level six months ago.
Fears of Britain's energy crisis are escalating, with rising oil prices putting pressure on petrol station costs and prompting drivers to rush to buy fuel in panic. The rush to petrol stations comes as the BRITISH government claims there is no shortage of fuel, but unleaded and diesel-grade petrol at petrol stations is starting to run out of stock.
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