Power squeeze curbs Chinese growth, leaves Europe in a gas bind

BEIJING/MOSCOW/PRAGUE, Oct 18 (Reuters) – China’s power shortages hit growth in the world’s second biggest economy, threatening more pain for global supply chains, while Europe’s gas squeeze looked set to continue as Russia’s Gazprom showed no sign of hiking exports to the region in October.

Coal, oil and gas prices have all rocketed higher in recent weeks hammering utilities and consumers from Beijing to Brussels, raising inflationary pressures and putting at risk a global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The red-hot market underscores the scale of the task facing world leaders, who are under pressure to map out plans to wean their economies off fossil fuels in preparation for COP26 summit climate talks that start on Oct. 31.

Europe, which relies on Russia for 35% of its gas supplies, has seen its benchmark gas price rise more than 350% this year. As a result, a slew of European firms that supply gas or power to households and companies have folded.

The Czech Republic’s energy regulator took the exceptional step of asking suppliers to provide reassurances that they could supply energy to homes and companies, after another of the country’s electricity and gas groups halted supply.

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Source: Reuters