Thermal coal to hit $US130/t: Citi

NEWCASTLE-based thermal coal prices might reach $US130 per tonne free-on-board as a result of recent wet weather in the Hunter Valley and renewed demand from post quake-impacted Japan, according to Citigroup.
Thermal coal to hit $US130/t: Citi Thermal coal to hit $US130/t: Citi Thermal coal to hit $US130/t: Citi Thermal coal to hit $US130/t: Citi Thermal coal to hit $US130/t: Citi

NCIG's new terminal on Kooragang Island at the Port of Newcastle.

Blair Price

Referencing views from the investment bank, the Australian Financial Review reported that Tokyo Electric Power had stepped “back into the market” while the Hunter Valley coal region clocked up more than 200mm of rain last week.

While the weather impacts on production in the region are not publicly known, the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator noted there was a ship queue of 24 vessels as of Sunday for Port Waratah Coal Services’ terminals at Newcastle’s port.

HVCCC further forecast that there would be a queue of 27 for PWCS at the end of the month based on nominated arrivals and expected shiploading capacity – indicating that demand is picking up.

Ship queues plunged as low as nine vessels off Newcastle last month.

Japan was previously estimated to have lost around 10% of its total power generation, including nuclear and coal-fired, by the major earthquake and tsunami in March.

Major Hunter Valley miner Coal and Allied signalled in April that it would compensate for lower Japanese demand by increasing exports to China, North Korea and Taiwan.

However, there could be increased output as Xstrata revives production from the Ulan longwall mine, which was suspended for more than two months due to significant water seepage underground.

Xstrata’s Blakefield South longwall mine remains suspended since the underground fire early this year.

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