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African Coal Exporters Benefitting From China’s Ongoing Electricity Crisis

A man stands at a doorway below power lines in Beijing on September 28, 2021. LEO RAMIREZ / AFP

China is scouring the globe for new sources of coal in an effort to stem the blackouts that have afflicted millions of residents and businesses in at least nine provinces over the past several weeks. While the ongoing crisis is now threatening China’s post-pandemic economic recovery, higher demand and surging prices for coal are welcome news for exporters in Africa, particularly South Africa and Mozambique.

Chinese demand for southern African coal is accelerating, according to a report in the South China Morning Post, partially in response to the current power crisis but also because of Beijing’s year-long attempt to wean itself off Australian coal in response to worsening political ties between the two countries.

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