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Scott Jagow: One of China’s major highways reopened today. It’s been shut down because of these blizzards and ice storms lately. The weather has really turned into a big economic problem for China. Bill Marcus reports from Shanghai.
Bill Marcus: Millions can’t get home or get warm. Some are calling it China’s Katrina.
And it couldn’t have hit at a worse time. The World Bank today slashed China’s growth forecast for the year by 1.2 percentage points because of the global slowdown in demand. Citigroup cut earnings estimates for Chinese power producers by as much as 44 percent.
AME Minerals Economics coal analyst Graham Wailes says the coal shortage alone may trigger higher prices for American consumers.
Graham Wailes: Higher prices for coal translate into higher energy costs, which in turn can translate into higher manufacturing costs, and China is basically the manufacturing center of the world. I mean, there will be some modest impact.
Coal exports were halted so fast that some ships out to sea with loaded cargos were ordered to turn around and come home. And several plants are three days from running out. Milder weather is expected this week.
In Shanghai, I’m Bill Marcus for Marketplace.
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