By Michael Komesaroff

Moaning about the price of iron ore is an annual ritual for China’s steel producers. But with steel demand collapsing at home and abroad, Beijing is optimistic that it finally has the bargaining power to force the global mining giants to slash the price of contracted iron ore.

If only it were that simple.

By Arthur Kroeber

After years of procrastinating, China has finally imposed a fuel tax. The new levy, slapped on sales of petrol and diesel from January 1, is a strong signal that Beijing will reform energy prices.

Just six months ago, with the crude price at US$150, the question was how long China could sustain subsidies to keep retail fuel prices low. But with the price of crude oil now down around US$40 a barrel, the discussion of Chinese energy pricing policy has reversed course.

By Deborah Seligsohn

China has a robust domestic climate change policy, including ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy goals.This may come as a surprise to readers accustomed to hearing about China’s growing greenhouse gas emissions.

International observers often dismiss China’s efforts as being driven by industrial policy aims rather than a concern for the global environment. But it is precisely because China’s energy efficiency and pollution-abatement programmes have support from industrial planners that they are likely to be successful.

By Arthur Kroeber

After a recurrence of power shortages this summer, China is once again facing a power glut. Electricity production fell 4 percent in October compared with last year’s figure as demand from heavy industry collapsed.

For Beijing, the swing from shortage to surplus is a familiar tale: managing the power supply in China’s turbo-charged but volatile economy is a near impossible task.

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