China state planner asks coal index providers to rectify irregularities

An excavator loads coal to a train in Pingdingshan, Henan province, China November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING/SINGAPORE, March 29 (Reuters) - China's state planner has asked some major coal price index providers to rectify "severe irregularities" it had identified in the work of some of them during a nearly half-year investigation.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) began a probe into 15 coal price index providers in October after prices hit record highs and disrupted production. read more

The NDRC said in a statement on Tuesday its investigation found that some index providers were not independent of the coal market and participated in trading, while other samples of pricing were not clear or thorough enough.

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The regulator did not name the providers in the statement.

Other irregularities included using unreasonable formulas to compute prices, irregular naming of indices and a lack of verification of authenticity when reposting price information, the NDRC said.

It had issued conclusions to the 15 providers and requested those that seriously violated regulations to halt publication of the price index immediately and make corrections within a limited period.

The NDRC said it will also conduct assessments and investigations into price indexes of other key commodities and services in a timely manner.

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Reporting by Min Zhang in Beijing and Aizhu Chen in Singapore; Editing by Alexander Smith

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