Commodity Market Report

Thermal coal markets short-term outlook December 2021

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22 December 2021

Thermal coal markets short-term outlook December 2021

Report summary

Amid the surge in European gas and power prices and continued coal supply tightness, high-energy seaborne coal prices resumed their upward trend in December. While the near-term outlook for European coal prices looks strong, other market signals are mixed. China's NDRC reiterated its support for coal supply and coal generation to ensure energy security but is still set to place lower price controls on domestic coal. What will be the net result for imports? Will the coal supply tightness continue into the next year, with La Niña weather still threatening more disruption? As the Omicron-driven new wave gains pace globally, will coal demand be affected? In our December outlook, we consider how all these factors will play out in the seaborne coal market in the short term.

Table of contents

  • China – import demand strong again in November-December
  • Europe – high demand coupled with tight supplies will support prices further
  • Australia – closing in on 200 Mt and a year of no growth, but surging cashflow
  • Indonesia – December production recovers as rain stays away
  • Russia: rail infrastructure crippled by winter weather
  • Colombia: heavy rains dampen exports

Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:

  • Coal-fired generation in India
  • Coal supply position in India's power sector
  • Australia thermal coal exports
  • Australia mine closures (thermal coal export)
  • Indonesia coal production and exports (Mt)
  • Indonesian mines 7 day average rainfall (mm/week)

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