Commodity Market Report

Metallurgical coal - short term outlook - April 2021

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30 April 2021

Metallurgical coal - short term outlook - April 2021

Report summary

As much of the steel value chain bathes in the warmth of multi-year price highs, premium metallurgical coal has been left in the cold. China’s Australian coal ban is casting a long shadow over the market and there just isn’t enough spot demand elsewhere to engineer a turnaround. Australian suppliers are adjusting to the realities of demand but PLV coal cuts look to be modest at best. A market recovery will depend on extra spot demand for Australian coals from non-China markets. India is key and the onset of monsoon is going to limit the chances of a sustainable recovery before late August. Fortunately global economies are being artificially stimulated, and India will see the commissioning of two new coke ovens this year. With the additional help of some extra demand from Europe in H2 prices for premium coals should be able to rise from their slumber. But expectations need to be tempered while China continues to spurn coal from the seaborne trade.

Table of contents

  • Australia: PHCC lethargic in illiquid market
  • China: CFR China price strengthens
    • China a continued drag on seaborne trade
    • India key to met coal fortunes
    • Supplies of premium coal holding steady in face of China disruption
    • SSCC and PCI comparatively healthy amid weak supply
  • Low case:
  • China: industrial activity drives Q1 GDP rebound
  • China: crude steel demand reaching a zenith
  • India: severe Covid outbreak threatens robust steel demand and coal import surge
  • Japan: a good start but auto market and Covid-19 dampening spirits
  • Europe: busy mills making most of contracted coal supply
  • Australia: supply holding up but ambitions curtailed
  • Australia: new life for suspended Millennium
  • Mozambique: Vale completes Moatize upgrade, gearing up to higher output in H2 2021
  • China: domestic and Mongolian landborne supply restricted
  • US: exports climb in February on Chinese shipments
  • Russia: eastern mines to provide increased export output

Tables and charts

This report includes 9 images and tables including:

  • Key prices - history & quarterly forecasts (US$/t nominal)
  • Infection rate versus hot metal production
  • Global and Chinese crude steel production (Mt)
  • Global and Chinese blast furnace hot metal production (Mt)
  • Crude steel production - ex-China producers (Mt)
  • Blast furnace hot metal production - ex-China producers (Mt)
  • Queensland ports: Metallurgical coal exports (Mt per month)
  • BMA quarterly production (Mt)
  • Australia met coal production by company (Mt)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Metallurgical coal markets - short-term outlook data - Apr 2021.xlsx

    XLSX 622.62 KB

  • Document

    Metallurgical coal - short term outlook - April 2021

    PDF 1.12 MB