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Global thermal coal short-term outlook March 2018: protectionism could trump prices

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29 March 2018

Global thermal coal short-term outlook March 2018: protectionism could trump prices

Report summary

The market in March was defined by bearish demand, as the cold snap impacts subsided, especially in China. Newcastle high ash prices led the decline, falling 16% from February to US$73/t . There are additions being made to Chinese coal production, while seaborne suppliers are looking to maximize exports.  JPU talks continue, adding further uncertainty in the following months for buyers while supply is relatively more sufficient.  Aurizon's maintenance schedule, recent flood alert in New South Wales, and lower-than-expected production from CIL, could provide near-term price support. But, we don't expect these would offset the downward pressure we see from the key pacific demand centres in Q2.

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Prices
    • China: import restriction risk, amid seasonal demand weakness, weighs on price
    • India: weaker than expected production suggests potential upside for imports
    • China: recent visits suggest net production may increase by 100 Mt in 2018
    • Indonesia: domestic coal price cap could encourage more exports
    • Australia: Aurizon's maintenance practice will have limited impact on thermal coal
      • Aurizon continues to warn of possible 20 Mt impact to exports
      • Glencore agrees to buy Hail Creek and Valeria from Rio Tinto for US$1.7 billion
    • US: coal-fired generation under significant pressure from natural gas
    • South Africa

Tables and charts

This report includes 8 images and tables including:

  • Key market data
  • Key prices – history and forecast (nominal, US$/t)
  • India power plants suspension
  • India coal stockpiles
  • Spain hydro power reserves
  • Spain annual change in generation
  • UK power generation – hourly 19 February-5 March 2018 (GW)
  • Marketable reserves (at 1 July 2018)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    wm coal monthly thermal trade March 2018.xls

    XLS 2.63 MB

  • Document

    Global thermal coal short-term outlook March 2018: protectionism could trump prices

    PDF 525.83 KB

  • Document

    Global thermal coal short-term outlook March 2018: protectionism could trump prices

    ZIP 2.41 MB

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