Global metallurgical coal: 2018 in review

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15 January 2019

Global metallurgical coal: 2018 in review

Report summary

2018 began positively for metallurgical coal supply, suggesting a better year for coal availability, and moderating prices. But supply constraints in Australia and China soon returned to frustrate both buyers and affected suppliers. Meanwhile China's control over steel and coke supply, as well as another year of solid demand kept steel prices and margins at multi-year highs, laying the foundation for a near-repeat of 2017's record prices in the metallurgical coal trade.

Table of contents

    • China's supply reforms, and pollution controls, continued to underpin prices
    • Steel and coke sectors benefit from capacity control
    • Chinese supply limits played a major role in keeping prices high
    • Imports down after direct Government intervention into trade
    • India gives a glimpse of its potential
    • Australian supply disappoints again
    • PCI and SSCC spot prices fail to fire, but term buyers appreciate their value
    • US suppliers remind us of their unique ability to adapt
    • Seaborne metallurgical margins remained high
    • Changing of the guard in M&A shake-out

Tables and charts

This report includes 5 images and tables including:

  • Indian BF and met coal 2018
  • Metallurgical coal prices 2018
  • Change in seaborne metallurgical coal cash costs
  • Seaborne metallurgical export cash costs and margin
  • Implied long term coal price vs LV HCC spot price average

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