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Commodity Market Report

Global thermal coal short-term outlook January 2023

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31 January 2023

Global thermal coal short-term outlook January 2023

Report summary

After nine months of Newcastle benchmark prices over US$300/t, Newcastle 6,000 prices started January at over US$400/t and fell by over US$100/t by the end of the month. As the rest of the thermal seaborne market showed signs of weakening since December, Newcastle prices were propped up by Australian coal supply disruptions toward the end of last year and the need for producers to fulfill end-of-year contract tonnages. However, as producers recover, coal prices are adjusting downward. We are still well above marginal coal costs and gas prices are coming back to earth, so there remains room for further correction. Is it the beginning of the much-anticipated correction of coal prices to the more historically "normal" level or yet another wave of price volatility? Read this report for our views on where seaborne coal prices could land by the end of the year and why.

Table of contents

  • China – China imported 208 Mt of seaborne thermal coal in 2022
  • India – import mandate to the power sector plus strong industrial demand to drive import growth
  • Europe – import coal demand to remain strong but highly dependent on the weather
  • Australia – a good finish to 2022 but rain returns in January
  • Indonesia – 2022 exports of 456 Mt are at peak but 2023 is set to break the record
  • Russia – exports still strong but facing headwinds in 2023
  • Kazakhstan – seaborne exports surged in 2022
  • South Africa – coal exports down again in 2022
  • High/low scenarios

Tables and charts

This report includes 8 images and tables including:

  • Australia thermal coal exports
  • Newcastle coal shipments (met and thermal)
  • Indonesia coal production and exports
  • Indonesian mines 7 day average rainfall
  • South Africa monthly exports by port
  • South Africa monthly thermal coal exports
  • Key prices - history and forecast
  • Low and high cases for Newcastle 6,000 kcal/kg at confidence intervals of 5%, 33%, 66% and 95%

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