Shares of coal companies China Shenhua Energy Co. and China Coal Energy Co. rose in early trade after first-quarter profits jumped substantially thanks to higher coal prices.
China Shenhua rose as much as 5.8% in Hong Kong on Thursday morning after it posted a 67% surge in first-quarter net profit. In China, its A-shares climbed as much as 7.4%.
The energy company said coal prices in the first quarter averaged 742 yuan ($113.10) a metric ton, up 25% from a year earlier. It expects coal prices “to fluctuate within a reasonable range” going forward as regulators move to bring supply and demand “towards a general balance,” it added.
China Coal Energy shares gained as much as 5.3% in Hong Kong following a 93% rise in its first-quarter net profit, which it said was supported by higher coal production. The company’s A-shares in China rose as much as 8.3% in early trading.
Citi analysts kept buy ratings on both companies following the results, with a HK$27.50 target price on H-shares of China Shenhua and a HK$8.30 target price on China Coal Energy.
The analysts said in a note that they expect demand for coal in China to remain strong, as the country still relies on the fuel as its main energy source, despite de-carbonization efforts.
“Chinese domestic coal prices have also remained at a significant premium over seaborne thermal coal prices over the last year,” they said.