An early winter sharp cold snap in northeast Asia and the first November snow fall in Tokyo in 54 years this week has boosted prices for thermal coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as power stations fire up to meet a surge in electricity demand.
The cold snap is linked to the La Nina weather event in the Southern Hemisphere that can lead to sustained and disruptive variations in normal seasonal weather patterns. The snow in Tokyo for example was enough to delay rail services.
At the same time, China aviation authorities cancelled more than 80 flights in the capital Beijing on Monday, while road traffic slowed to a crawl after the earliest such cold spell in three decades. Temperatures dropped to -9 degree Celsius (15.8 Fahrenheit) earlier this week after an alert issued Sunday warned of heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions in northern China.