Asian, European coal prices are trading near an all-time high China, the world’s top coal consumer, is in dire need of more supply and is willing to pay any price — a move that threatens to leave less fuel for energy-starved rivals. With winter on the way for much of the world and natural gas prices at record levels, economies across the globe are competing for a finite supply of coal. At the center of the scramble is China, where stockpiles are low and demand is at an all-time high. The dirtiest fossil fuel, which was struggling against cleaner energy sources, is now seeing its biggest comeback ever, complicating international climate talks set to begin in just a few weeks. China will expand coal procurement at “any price to ensure heating and power generation in winter,” the China Electricity Council said in a statement on Monday. While more than […]