Commodity Market Report

Thermal coal markets short-term outlook August 2021

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It’s been another record-breaking month for coal prices supported by hot summer demand in the northern hemisphere. The resurgence in coronavirus cases seems to have only added supply concerns without much demand disruption. China’s benchmark coal prices hovered at above RMB1,000/t with the domestic production ramp-up delayed since July. Seaborne coal supply responses have improved marginally. How long will current prices stay? European coal-to-gas switching economics and low inventory have justified the high gas prices, but the commissioning of Russia's new gas pipeline later this year may change the picture. Will we see a knock-on impact on coal prices like 3 years ago?

Table of contents

  • High/low scenarios
  • China – record-high QHD price will result in 14% year-on-year increase in seaborne thermal coal imports in 2021
  • India – strong demand momentum continues
  • Vietnam: weak hydro supports coal but surge in Covid cases poses downside risk
  • Australia – Covid Delta variant spread yet to hit mining activity
  • Indonesia – government-imposed export bans to have minimal impact
  • Russia – rail disruption continues to limit export growth

Tables and charts

This report includes 10 images and tables including:

  • Low and high cases for Newcastle 6,000 kcal/kg at confidence intervals of 5%, 33%, 66% and 95% (US$/t)
  • China domestic coal production
  • India coal-fired generation
  • Power generation vs fossil fuel share %
  • Price difference between average import price vs 5800 NAR spot CFR South Korea
  • Japan monthly power generation
  • Japan coal-to-gas switching curve
  • Australia thermal coal exports
  • Australia coal exports to Indonesia
  • Indonesia production and exports (Mt)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Thermal Coal Markets Short Term Outlook Data August 2021.xlsx

    XLSX 525.11 KB

  • Document

    Thermal coal markets short-term outlook August 2021

    PDF 969.17 KB