Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
It is reported that this week the international thermal coal market has edged up slightly. Statistics from GlobalCoal indicated on August 21st the price index of thermal coal price at Australia's Newcastle port continued to dip USD 2.25 per tonne to USD 72 per tonne by over 3%. This had been the fourth consecutive downward week.
The price index of thermal coal at Richard port in South Africa edged down by USD 0.35 per tonne to USD 63.45 per tonne by 0.4%. That in ARA market in Europe dropped by USD 0.94 per tonne to USD 70.72 per tonne by over 1.3%.
After climbing up to USD 78 per tonne the price index of thermal coal has finally dropped in Asia's thermal coal market. However, as price drops would lead to increases in China's imports, it's not expected to drop below USD 70 per tonne.
Mr Murray Houston CEO from Xstrata predicts China coal imports would surge by 80% and exports down by 30% this year making China a net importer of coal with 30 million tonnes to 35 million tonnes of net import volume. This is partially due to the fact that devalued international coal is more advantageous for China than self produced coal. China' coal imports in Jul remained at 13.89 million tonnes down by 2.18 million tonnes or 13.6%YoY. In August it's still expected to be in the downward path.
This week China, while still possessing much enthusiasm for imports, has witnessed Australia coking coal running tight to import, for more coal has flowed to Japan and Korea than before. The other reasons are, Australia coal is passed over traders and to large scale steel mills directly and that transporting capacities at ports are curbed and export quotas are implemented on Australia's coal imports. This week Australia primary coking coal remains at USD 165 per tonne at each port in China and the transaction price stays at CNY 1,240 per tonne at Jingtang port in China.
While Russia coal is quite hot, and is relatively flexible in delivery. As it's cheaper than domestic coal, trade is quite active, and the spot price has risen by CNY 60 per tonne to CNY 1,160 per tonne this week. Other varieties of coal also experienced CNY 20 per tonne to CNY 30 per tonne rise in price.
Coal stock volume in power plants dropped 0.6% in the US this week. However, current stock level is still 27.7% higher than the same period of last year. Statistics from the power sector show there is now 176 million tonnes of coal stock in America power plants, compared with 177 million tonnes last week and 138 million tonne at the same period of last year. This amount of coal, in the light of normal operation, can sustain 66 days' working, compared with only 14 days YoY.