Friday, July 06, 2012

Rout in Thermal Coal Prices
Is The Economic Times spreading false information, when it says, "..... but across the world, coal prices have spiked ..."??!! Let us see what two most prominent news agency writes...
(i) A rout in thermal coal prices has left miners of the fuel looking cheap, particularly those that derive their profits from exports. But while analysts agree that the sector is due to rebound, they are divided on when that will happen.
A combination of weaker-than-expected demand from the world's two largest coal-consuming nations , clement winter weather and excess global supply has pulled the benchmark price of thermal coal, burned to generate electricity, down by more than 20% since the start of the year. Prices are now so low that the highest-cost producers are losing money.
(ii) China's benchmark thermal coal prices extended its losing streak and slid 3.7 percent to 676 yuan ($110) a tonne.
Chinese coal prices have dropped 111 yuan since the start of May as the flood of cheaper overseas supplies has pressured the domestic market.
"Stocks at ports and power plants have begun to fall slightly, so some utilities are now ready to buy and that has brought traders back into the market," said a Shanghai-based source.
"But that doesn't mean things are looking all rosy.  Utilities still have fairly fat stocks so it's not like they'd be eager to buy whatever comes along."
Coal stocks at Qinhuangdao Port slipped to 8.87 million tonnes as of July 2, down slightly from 8.93 a week ago, according to data from the port.
($1 = 6.3477 Chinese yuan).
(i) The Wall Street Journal
(ii) The Reuters
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