BEIJING - China's commodities markets slumped on Wednesday, led by sharp declines in thermal coal prices, after the state planner said it was looking at ways to intervene to cool off record high prices of the fuel.
Cheaper coal prices and its increasing supply could help ease China's factory gate inflation, which hit record highs in September on the back of a power crunch and soaring commodity prices, hurting profits of many mid- and downstream factories.
On Wednesday, thermal coal futures fell from its previous session's record highs, hitting its limit down of 8% at 1 755.40 yuan ($274.71) per tonne.
Coking coal and coke futures opened down 9% to hit daily trading limits as well.
Other energy and base metals prices followed suit, with aluminium and zinc futures slumping by more than 6%. Prices of petrochemicals such as methanol and ethylene glycol, and urea which uses coal as feedstock, fell 8% to 9%.