Last week, thermal coal indices in Europe continued their rally over 140 USD/t. The gas shortage in the EU, due to unplanned maintenance at the Norwegian gas field increased the TTF gas quotes to the record highs of 40.6 EUR/MWh (+4.5 EUR/MWh to July 21, 2021) and strengthened coal prices. ARA coal stocks are at the level of 4.6 mio t (-0.3 mio t to July 21, 2021). Higher demand for electricity in a number of European countries, owing to hot weather, provided additional support for coal prices.
South African coal indices, hitting multi-year highs, edged below 130 USD/t amid the drop in demand from Indian enterprises and the completion of scheduled maintenance of the railway (July 20-26, 2021), connecting the coal-producing provinces of South Africa and the port of Richards Bay. According to experts, quotes of coal from South Africa may continue to rise in the short term, due to additional supply constraints, caused by railway operator Transnet’s plans to resume repair works in August.
The prices for 5500 kcal/kg NAR coal of domestic production in the port of Qinhuangdao exceeded 160 USD/t amid typhoons in China, suspending work of the ports in Shanghai, Zhoushan and Ningbo. Heavy rains in eastern China caused a decrease in average daily temperatures, resulting in reduction in electricity demand. According to experts, new heat waves will strike China in mid-August.
Despite the heightened trading activity of Asian buyers, Australian coal indices, which are at the level of historical highs since 2008, declined below 160 USD/t following the price correction.
The closure of a number of mines due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation in Indonesia and, as a result, a reduction in supplies, supported Indonesian 5900 GAR coal quotes over 120 USD/t.
Shortage of Australian coking coal supplies to the Asia-Pacific market, caused by planned maintenance of some Australian mines, supported prices of coking coal from Australia over 215 USD/t.
Under the experts, this year global steel production may reach new record highs due to the increase in production volumes after the COVID-19 pandemic. In H1 2021, Chinese steel mills produced 563 mio t (+12% compared to H1 2020). According to the forecasts of the World Steel Association, in 2021 the total volume of the world steel output may exceed 2 billion t.
Source: CAA Analytics