Last week, thermal coal prices on the European market continued to strengthen above 210 USD/t amid oil quotes rising to multi-year highs and a possible aggravation of the political situation between Russia and Ukraine. Brent crude oil contracts for February 2022 rose to 90 USD/barrel, which is the highest level since 2014. An additional factor, supporting the indices is the ongoing shortage of coal supplies from Russia to the EU.
South African quotes rose to 3-month highs above 205 USD/t, resulting from the ban on coal exports from Indonesia and increased demand from Indian consumers.
In China, spot prices for 5500 NAR soared by 24 USD/t to 171 USD/t FOB Qinhuangdao, driven by the suspension of works at a number of mines, due to the forthcoming Chinese New Year celebrations (from January 31 to February 06). Unfavorable weather and heavy snowfall, which limit coal transportation in China, also had a positive effect on steam coal indices in the domestic market.
The surge in quotations of high-CV Australian material above 260 USD/t was caused by the increased demand in Asia-Pacific on the back of the ban on coal exports from Indonesia and spread of Covid-19 in Australia.
Strong demand from China, ahead of the Olympics and Chinese New Year holidays, supported Indonesian 5900 GAR up to 130 USD/t.
Indonesia maintains the ban on coal exports from the country, imposed by the government from January 01 to January 31, 2022. As of January 26, the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), reported that 32 coal companies were permitted to export coal. These companies have agreed to fully comply with the domestic market obligation standards (DMO) for the past year and pay a penalty for non-compliance. Under the DMO, suppliers must send at least 25% of their production to the domestic market. The decision followed last week’s order to allow 139 companies, that fully met last year’s DMO standards, to export coal.
Australian metallurgical coal prices hit a new historic high above 440 USD/t, driven by the tight coal supply on the global market as well as the spread of Covid-19 in Australia.