Thermal coal prices picked up in northern China's Inner Mongolia in December, said the regional development and reform commission.
In December, thermal coal mine-mouth prices averaged 213.83 yuan/t ($32.87/t) in the region, 0.01% higher than a month ago and 6.46% higher than a year ago, the commission noted.
The average purchasing price at which utilities buy thermal coal from miners or traders edged down 2.54% from November but up 6.43% on the year to 206.29 yuan/t in December.
That translated into an average price of standard coal (with 7,000 Kcal/kg NAR) of 377.13 yuan/t, down 2.17% month on month but up 7.21% year on year.
Coal prices have slowly rebound in early January when heavy blizzards hit the region and blocked roads to ports and other consuming areas.
It is forecast strong wind, and even snows or rains will hit central and eastern China in the next 10 days, further bringing down temperature and pushing up utilities' demand for the fuel.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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