China’s door-slam on thermal coal imports a golden opportunity for India

Beijing’s sudden decision to drastically curb imports of thermal coal into the country’s ports presents a golden opportunity to Indian coal buyers to pick up large volumes of Australian power station fuel at discounted prices, according to a S&P Global Platts analysis. With little fanfare or publicity April 13, Beijing quietly implemented a new round of import restrictions on seaborne-traded cargoes of thermal coal, including more stringent customs checks and some outright bans on ships discharging at certain Chinese ports. The measures have alarmed shippers of thermal coal and accelerated the descent of spot prices at the Newcastle coal trading hub, the main gateway for Australia’s thermal coal exports to Asia. After soaring to $88/mt FOB Newcastle in early February on strong winter demand from China, the high-ash grade of Newcastle 5,500 kcal/kg NAR thermal coal has plummeted to $65/mt FOB Wednesday. Beijing’s import curbs have the potential to upend the mining, shipping and marketing plans of Australian high-ash coal shippers as China has been a large customer for this type of thermal coal. China last year received 23.68 million mt of thermal coal from the Australian state of New South Wales, home to the main thermal coal handling port… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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