Physical coal prices hit 2016 highs on mining cuts, high Korean orders

BY HENNING GLOYSTEIN Reuters – Thermal coal prices jumped to 2016 highs this week as supply disruptions combined with a demand surge from some large importers, especially South Korea, but analysts warned that the steepness of the upturn looked overblown. Prices for prompt delivery cargoes from Newcastle surged 10 percent in July to a 2016 high of $58.70 per tonne earlier this week, and Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Antwerp (ARA) import cargoes were also up 10 percent and at a 2016 high of $56.50 a tonne. South African Richards Bay cargo prices rose just 5 percent, but to the highest price of the benchmarks, to a last close of $59.90 a tonne, also a 2016 high. Traders said that the price surges were a result of supply cuts in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins, including Colombia and Indonesia, while there had been a jump in orders from some major importers like South Korea. South Korea, the world’s No. 4 importer of thermal coal, has sent out a raft of import tenders recently. “The Korean utilities have been ordering above their norm in the past month or two. It’s not dramatic, but noticeable,” one coal trader said. South Korean utilities, including KOSPO, WP, EWP,

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Source: CTRM Center

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