Last week the European market saw a surge in thermal coal prices over 90 USD/t. News about Colombia’s key mining complex Cerrejon, halting operations due to a protracted blockade of the company’s railway, supported coal indices.
TTF gas prices rose to 25.4 EUR/MWh (+2.4 EUR/MWh to May 19, 2021). EU carbon prices remain at historical highs of 52.8 EUR/t (-3.6 EUR/t to May 19, 2021). ARA coal stocks amounted to 4.6 mio t (+0.2 mio t to May 19, 2021).
On May 05, 2021 the railway line, connecting Cerrejon’s open-pit mine and the port of Bolivar, was blocked by former employees of the company after forced staff cuts amid the negative consequences of Covid-19 crisis. Cerrejon suspended coal production and declared force majeure on its exports after protesters cut fuel supplies to company’s mining sites.
Heightened demand from Indian generating companies ahead of the start of the monsoon season (from June to October) had a positive impact on the indices of the South African material over 110 USD/t. Richards Bay coal stocks decreased to 2.1 mio t (-0.1 mio t by to May 19, 2021).
Last week, the domestic market of China saw a decline in coal quotes. As of May 26, 2021, the price of 5500 kcal/kg NAR coal of domestic production in the port of Qinhuangdao decreased below 133 USD/t. Due to the high prices Chinese consumers limited purchases of local coal, putting pressure on the indices.
Ahead of the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary and the start of China’s rainy season, the Chinese government restricted coal production to avoid potential mining accidents. Last month, more than 20 people were injured during underground flooding at a coal mine in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Province.
The news on the maintenance of PWCS Carrington coal terminal in the port of Newcastle from May 27 to July 10 strengthened Australian coal quotes over 120 USD/t amid growing demand in the Asia-Pacific countries.
High demand from China and India had a positive impact on the prices of Indonesian 5900 GAR material over 92 USD/t. In April 2021, Indonesia delivered 9.9 mio t of thermal coal to India (+3.5 mio t to April 2020).
The continued rise in steel prices and the gradual increase in the cost of metallurgical coke in the Asia-Pacific markets boosted demand of metallurgical enterprises in Southeast Asia for coking coal of Australian origin and supported coking coal prices over 150 USD/t. On May 23, 2021, the China Steel and Steel Industry Association called on local steel companies not to create shortages of steel leading to higher steel prices in the domestic market. In April, China’s steel price index rose by 9% amid the construction season and rising car sales.
Source: CAA Analytics