Coal prices have soared to a record after serious disruptions at some the world's most important coal producers.
Coal prices have soared after production problems in China
The benchmark price in Asia jumped 25% to $116 a tonne.
Last month, China, the world's biggest coal producer, said it would halt exports in February and March due to the worst snow in decades.
Power shortages in South Africa have disrupted mining there and in Australia heavy flooding has caused serious problems for several mining companies.
Supplies running low
According to one trader, "supply is so tight at the moment that users just have to pay whatever producers are asking, and if they sit around and wait, they will either have to fork out even higher prices or be told there is no more tonnage available".
Asian electricity producers are now scrambling to secure coal.
Indonesia, the world's biggest coal exporter, says most of its output for 2008 is already sold.
Stocks at South Korean utilities have fallen to less than two weeks worth of supplies, according to reports.
The Philippines state electricity company is struggling to source coal due to high prices.