Last week, thermal coal prices in Europe remained over 150 USD/t. On August 16, 2021, the news on the launch of the Nord-Stream–2 gas project in the EU lowered TTF gas indices to 41.15 EUR/MWh (-4.75 EUR/MWh to August 11, 2021), negatively affecting coal quotes. ARA coal stocks reached 4.36 mio t (+0.29 mio t or +4% to August 11, 2021).
South African coal prices stayed at multi-year highs over 140 USD/t amid issues with the railway line, connecting the coal-producing provinces of South Africa and the port of Richards Bay. Heightened trading activity of Indian consumers provides additional support to the indices.
Prices of 5500 kcal/kg NAR coal of domestic production in the port of Qinhuangdao decreased below 155 USD/t. The wait-and-see position of Chinese buyers due to the high prices in the domestic market negatively affected the dynamics of coal quotes.
The National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) called on a number of provinces to launch measures, limiting electricity consumption during winter. The decision is motivated by an increased volume of coal burning in some provinces amid the limited supply of thermal coal in the domestic market, logistic problems and the closure of coal mines after safety checks.
On August 12, 2021, the Chinese government announced the resumption of coal production at 53 mines after heat waves and rapid recovery in industrial production, spurring energy demand. It is assumed that the mines will supply 44 mio t of coal to Chinese coal-fired power plants.
Australian thermal coal prices held above 175 USD/t as a result of the limited export supplies of coal to the international market. On August 05, 2021, a one-week ban on coal mining was introduced in key coal-producing regions of Australia due to the new COVID-19 outbreak. The ban was extended until August 20, 2021.
The quotes of the Indonesian coal remained over 125 USD/t as the Indonesian government imposed restrictions on coal exports, while consumers from the Asia-Pacific countries lowered their coal demand.
Prices of coking coal from Australia increased over 225 USD/t amid the Australian government’s COVID-19 ban on coal mining until August 20, 2021.
Source: CAA Analytics