Global thermal coal: 2023 in review

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From the surge in Chinese demand to the dramatic price declines driven by a hangover of high energy coal stocks from 2022 - and a mild winter, 2023 threw curveballs we never saw coming. The extraordinary profits generated in 2022 became apparent as producers reported their results over the course of the year - but so did the cost increases. The incredible margins for producers in 2022 shrunk with some high-cost were producers under pressure despite relatively high prices from a historical context. Significantly our expectation for "peak coal" in the seaborne market has been pushed out - again. We look at some of the unexpected shifts, the drivers, and try to make some sense of the implications.

Table of contents

  • China’s imports were much higher than we predicted
  • Another surprise was the resilience of seaborne trade to interference – whether that be unilateral or multilateral
  • Costs were significantly higher than we realised
  • Peak coal pushed out again
  • Indonesian domestic demand exploded
  • Prices "corrected" much faster than we anticipated

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    Global thermal coal: 2023 in review

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