Commodity Market Report

North America coal short-term outlook April 2017



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Report summary

April is a month of transition where heating and cooling demand is at its lowest level - allowing natural gas suppliers to re-build inventory and prepare for the summer. This April also follows an unseasonably warm winter making the transition to spring less striking. The mild temperatures have kept natural gas prices relatively stable but a return to more normal temperature heading into summer could  cause the natural gas market could heat up and trigger a switch back to coal. Coal plant operators will be using the shoulder season to perform routine maintenance and get organised before summer demand picks up. Meanwhile, the prospect of increased summer demand will lead utilities to begin soliciting producers for new coal contracts. International markets have been volatile as two major supply shocks have tested capacity limits in the past six months. The prompt month benchmark coking coal price spiked over US$300/Mt, and US met producers are scrambling to raise output.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    WM Coal Monthly North America April 2017.xls

    XLS 4.64 MB

  • Document

    North America coal short-term outlook April 2017: transition to summer

    PDF 610.79 KB

  • Document

    North America coal short-term outlook April 2017: transition to summer

    ZIP 3.29 MB

Table of contents

    • Key Data
    • Coal prices - history and forecast (FOB mine)
    • Metallurgical coal producers ramping production to meet demand
    • Calls to end self-bonding
    • Foresight Energy requests approval to re-enter Deer Run mine
    • Murray Energy to scale back New Future mine operations
  • Infrastructure
  • Policy and regulation
    • US coal stockpiles (Mst)

Tables and charts

This report includes 13 images and tables including:


  • Total US supply demand balance (Mst)
  • US basin netback prices into export markets


  • Coal deliveries to EGUs by contract type and length (%)
  • Demand: Image 2
  • Prices: Image 1
  • Metalurgical coal prices – history and forecast (FOB port)
  • NAPP netback prices to ARA
  • PRB netback prices into South Korea
  • US export supply with expansion plans (Mt, US$/t)
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 1
  • Demand: Image 3
  • Demand: Image 4
  • US met production (Mt) and weekly hours worked

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