Despite a record rate of US coal-fired power plant closures in 2018, domestic coal prices are unlikely to come under significant pressure, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, partly because exports are currently providing an outlet for excess supply. A lack of downside pressure will be welcomed by producers. Despite promises by US President Donald Trump to put coal miners back to work and his efforts to repeal Obama-era legislation seen as hostile to the industry, use of the fuel has continued to decline in the power sector. “Domestic demand in the US coal market has been falling pretty consistently in 2018 but we haven’t seen that drive prices down,” said Joe Aldina, US coal analyst at S&P Global Platts Analytics. Full-year 2018 thermal coal exports from the US are forecast to reach 55.21 million short tons, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, up 16% on the 47.66 million st tons shipped abroad in 2017. Alongside record exports, coal companies have become more disciplined, reining in capital spending and avoiding oversupplying the market to prevent a price slide, Aldina added. Record retirements Power generators in the US are set to retire a total of 14.3 GW of coal-fired power plant… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center