China has established an online trading platform for coal which will enable buyers and sellers to bypass traditional intermediaries and conduct full transactions via the internet.
Xinhua reports that the new platform operated by the China Taiyuan Coal Transaction Center will make coal transported via roads and railways available for online purchase starting on January 1, 2013.
Yan Shichun, deputy director of the transaction center, says that it will be like a "supermarket that offers full service, from contract signing and distribution to account settlement."
The China Taiyuan Coal Transaction Center, situated in the Shanxi province capital of Taiyuan, is the only national coal trading center in the country with a total of 2,756 registered traders. The center was opened in late February and its total trading volume has since reached USD73.4 billion.
Shanxi province is China's leading coal producing region, responsible for nearly a quarter of national output.