17/06/14 – European coal prices fall to lowest since 2009

Prompt prices for European physical coal dropped to their lowest since 2009 on Friday, as warmer weather and ample supplies continued to weigh on the market.

According to the GLOBALcoal trading platform, cargoes for delivery in June to the European ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) lost 70% or 1% to USD 69.00 a tonne on volume of 50,000 tonnes traded.

The front-month DES ARA contract, down USD 1 for the week, has fallen by 21% so far this year, and is now nearly 50% below its 2011 peak of around USD 135 per tonne. Prices for coal for delivery in August also slipped on Friday, losing 10% to USD 73.00 per tonne on volume of 50,000 tonnes. Prices have been under pressure for several months due to a global oversupply of coal and weak energy demand in Europe due to a mild winter and spring.

Traders said that warmer weather across Western Europe this month has further dented already weak demand.

In Britain, falling natural gas prices have made that fuel more competitive with coal, especially when the country’s recently increased carbon floor price is taken into account.

The British government in April raised the cost for utilities to pollute to 9.55 pounds per tonne of carbon dioxide. Burning gas emits around half the amount of CO2 as coal.

In Asia, India’s new government said that it would speed up work on three railway lines seen as key to transporting 100 million tonnes of coal per year from remote mines.

CIL, the world’s number one coal miner that controls about 80% of India’s output, said that better connections could push its annual production up by as much as 300 million tonnes from 462 million now.

Source – Reuters