Prices for premium hard coking coal have risen sharply in July, as Chinese coking coal use spikes to meet demand from the domestic BF-BOF steel sector. Self-imposed production curbs by Chinese coking coal miners until at least September, have tightened the domestic market, but also reaffirmed the view for many, that prices for the best quality coal will stay elevated. International suppliers have responded reasonably well to higher prices in 2017, with Mozambique and the US leading the way. Australian supply has recovered post cyclone Debbie, but mine closures and lingering supply chain problems has seen miners struggle to keep up with demand in July. Although a number of the demand factors keeping prices high will ameliorate over time, the remainder of Q3 looks strong, and prices over the next 12 months will ultimately be determined by decisions taken by Chinese coking coal miners, and supply performance in Australia.
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Global coal markets are facing extraordinary challenges and uncertainties. Factors such as global overcapacity, weakening demand and falling prices have created cautious investors. These factors have caused delays and cancellations of many mine and infrastructure projects, as well as lower growth rates at others.
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Commodity market report | Aug 2017
Global metallurgical coal short-term outlook July 2017: China turns market on its head
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