The Whitehaven (ASX:WHC) share price is down 7% today. What’s going on?

Here’s what could be bringing down Whitehaven’s shares today…

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Today isn’t a good day on the ASX for the Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price. The coal miner’s stock is tumbling on Thursday, alongside the price of Chinese thermal coal.

At the time of writing, the Whitehaven share price is $2.62, 7.24% lower than its previous close.

Let’s take a look at what might be weighing on the coal miner’s stock today.

Whitehaven share price falls alongside Chinese coal futures

The Whitehaven share price is slipping today amid reports Chinese thermal coal futures plummeted 10% on Wednesday and another 13% in night trade.

The country’s coal futures have now reportedly fallen 47.8% since 19 October.

There are a number of happenings that have potentially weighed on the price of coal in China.

Firstly, according to reporting by Reuters, China’s National Development and Reform Commission is cracking down on unlicensed coal storage sites. The commission believes removing unapproved storage locations will make it harder for illegal traders to hoard the commodity.

The Global Times reports the increased scrutiny has seen traders desperate to sell and minimise their losses amid the market slump.

Additionally, coal pricing in China is facing scrutiny by the commission which is planning to intervene. The commission reportedly believes pricing data is being falsified by energy index providers.

Another report by Reuters states Chinese coal traders are being left in the dark as data that helps them price the commodity is being fabricated or hidden from the public.

All in all, coal prices in China are cooling, putting pressure on the S&P/ASX 200 Index‘s (ASX: XJO) largest pure play coal miner. The Whitehaven share price is now around 19% lower than it was this time last month.

The dip comes after the company announced it expects record-high coal prices will see it boasting “significant cash generation” soon. Whitehaven likely plans to use such cash to help realise its goal of being debt-free by early next year.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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