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Coal prices glow hot as China hungers for power, steel

Australia picks up slack from halted North Korea imports, Indonesia supply crunch

China's appetite for coal is helping to drive up Australian prices of the commodity for both electricity generation and steelmaking.

TOKYO -- Prices of coal for both electricity generation and steelmaking are climbing amid heated Chinese demand backed by brisk steel production and elevated power use. 

International benchmark Australian coal for power generation has reached a roughly seven-month high of around $90 per ton -- up 25% over a recent low in mid-May. Unusually heavy rains in Indonesia have hampered output, and delays in loading ships have caused supply to stagnate. This is driving up demand for Australian coal.

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