North America coal short-term outlook December 2017: Strong international vs weak domestic markets
The strength in international thermal and metallurgical markets has given a boost to US spot coal prices as 2017 draws to a close. Meanwhile, domestic US thermal markets weaken as a glut of natural gas production drives gas prices downward. The dual personality of the market will deepen in the early part of 2018 with continued shortages of international supply and falling domestic natural gas prices. Eventually, policy changes in China and increased supply from non-US producers will take the heat off of international coal prices leading to falling domestic spot prices.