Global metallurgical coal short-term outlook May 2018: Supply concerns push market higher
A standoff between buyers who felt comfortably supplied, and miners who could see the market tightening, kept prices flat for most of May. But with the typical June surge in Australian exports constrained by rail maintenance, and buyers looking for July coal deliveries, the price impasse looks to be breaking. Australia's rail dispute is likely to push prices up further during June - perhaps beyond US$200/t - and the increase will have repercussions for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, China's steel and coal restructure continues to underpin international prices, and the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. Solid demand for iron, steel and coke globally, and stuttering coal supply growth, will keep prices well above marginal cost for the rest of the year and through 2019.