Commodity market report

Global metallurgical coal short-term outlook September 2017: Prices start to fall

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Report summary

Metallurgical coal prices started to fall this month in anticipation of Chinese restrictions on hot metal and coke output. Australian LV spot prices, dropped over US$20/t from mid-month. Most Chinese blast furnaces will have to cut output to under 50% of capacity during winter. Queensland coal exports were strong in August, but will be limited as the year closes due to rail and port maintenance. Spot prices should fall to US$165/t by the end of the year – driving the Q4 contract to US$183/t.

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    Global metallurgical coal short-term outlook September 2017: Prices start to fall

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Index-pricing leads NSSMC to US$170/t for Q3 contracts
    • Second tier HCC prices fall, as demand for this coal weakens
    • Differential between PCI/SSCC to HCC strengthens in Q3
    • JFE does well with early Q3 settlements on PCI and SSCC
    • Marketplace is getting ready for hedging options to manage volatility but, a long way to go
    • Prices should continue the decline that started in mid-September
    • Queensland metallurgical coal exports
    • Appin mine slowly returns, but at lower output level
    • Baralaba plans to add LV PCI later this year
    • QCoal and JFE developing the Byerwen mine
    • Peabody sells Burton mine to New Hope
    • AMCI will reopen Broadlea in 2017
    • Donkin mine brings on first coking coal on Canada’s east coast
    • Teck production to remain steady the next few years
    • Canada’s Ridley export rise has mirrored the market changes
    • US exports remain strong, but should decline in Q4
    • Weakening US dollar lessens revenues for other local currencies
    • China’s Q4 slowdown still the biggest demand driver
    • JFE Steel idles blast furnace, but coal impact should be minimal
    • ArcelorMittal relines Bremen blast furnace
    • Japan’s coke imports have fallen with high prices
    • ThysseenKrupp and Tata Steel unite in Europe

Tables and charts

This report includes 7 images and tables including:


  • Key prices – history and forecast, US$/t nominal
  • Supply: Image 1
  • Global and Chinese steel production, Mt
  • Steel production – other majors, Mt
  • Global and Chinese blast furnace iron production, Mt
  • Blast furnace iron production – other majors, Mt


  • Key market data

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