Local Coal



STATISTICS on request

We compile client-specific reports to meet unique client coal information needs.

Current industry statistics, including production, sales, exports and pricing data, as well as the latest information on developments in the field are sourced from the records of XMP Consulting, coal industry specialists.




XMP Consulting

Pretoria, South Africa

t +27 (0) 12 333 6305

f +27 (0) 86 612 5688

m +27 (0) 82 494 3968

xavier@xmpconsulting.com xmpconsulting.com

About XMP Consulting

XMP Consulting is the parent company of AfriCoal Energy Review. All information provided by AfriCoal Energy Review is sourced through and backed by the XMP name and is held to the same high standard of technical expertise and professionalism.

The XMP coal team includes geologists, mining and coal processing engineers, logistics and marketing specialists, analysts and other support staff.

Read more >>>


Featured Story Click title below for the whole story

Global coal exporters face troika of hurdles in bid to meet 2014 volume targets

Major global coal exporting countries have some tough miles to cross to meet their trade goals for the year as they continue to face challenges due to a low pricing environment, slowing demand from China and India, and a widening supply glut situation.

Analysts believe U.S. coal exports flooding the global markets played a major role in contributing to the current coal supply glut, with no immediate relief in sight as shipments from other countries continued to grow in the first three months of 2014. According to an SNL Energy analysis of global coal export data from various sources, coal exports from major countries hit 273 million tons by the end of the first quarter, representing roughly 23% of the amount those countries are expected to ship in the full year.

Highly competitive coal export prices from Indonesia, the world's leading thermal coal exporter, also kept pressure on the oversupplied seaborne market, Xavier Marcel Prévost, senior coal analyst at XMP Consulting CC, told SNL Energy. Indonesia is "still the most economical and viable place for anyone to import thermal coal," Kalpit Dubey, Asia Pacific coal analyst at OreTeam, wrote in an email to SNL Energy.

Indonesia's coal exports in the first quarter of 2014 increased at a robust pace, from 32 million tonnes in January to 38 million tonnes in March, data from Bank Indonesia showed. Australian Bureau of Research Energy and Economics, or BREE, said Indonesia could export 420 million tonnes of coal in the full-year 2014.

In addition, a slowdown in Chinese and European demand and increased supplies from the Americas have impacted some markets, Dubey said. However, the "increase in Japanese imports [has] somehow covered the excess supplies from Australia," Dubey added.

Japan's coal imports increased to 9.3 million tonnes in March from 8.4 million tonnes in the previous month, according to Reuters. Japan recently unveiled a new energy plan that labels coal as an important source for generating power, a move contrary to policy moves in China.

Even though European coal demand has weakened recently, countries such as Germany and Poland have presented a prospective opportunity for coal exporters, especially from the U.S. and Colombia. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. is among the U.S. coal producers looking to foster new relationships in the European market.

Exporters in Colombia and the U.S. have been competing for a higher share of the European coal market. The U.S. in 2013 exported 60.8 million tons of coal to Europe, while Colombia typically supplies about 50 million tonnes of coal per year to Europe. Reports suggest that since Germany announced plans to phase out nuclear energy in 2022, the country has turned into a "significant buyer" of U.S. coal.

Colombia's March exports were down to 3.3 million tonnes from 7.3 million tonnes in January, according to Colombia's statistics agency DANE. Carbones del Cerrejón, Colombia's largest coal producer, recently reiterated its commitment to boost exports despite expected disruptions from the El Niño weather anomaly. According to BREE, Colombian coal exports are expected to reach 84 million tonnes by the end of 2014. Cerrejon is equally owned by Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton and Glencore Xstrata.

Exports out of major coal ports in Australia gradually increased in the first three months, totalling 71 million tonnes, according to data sourced from various terminals in the country. Australia is the world's second-largest coal exporter and the world's leading exporter of metallurgical coal used in steelmaking. BREE had put Australia's 2014 coal export target at 364 million tonnes. Glencore and Vale SA, two major international miners with coal operations in Australia, have decided to shutter coal mines due to weak market conditions.

Prospects for thermal coal, the major factor behind the rise in seaborne coal volumes, do not look rosy in the short term. Chances of a meaningful rebound in thermal coal prices will "remain low as long as there is an abundant supply and a very weak demand. My guess [on price rebounding] is at least four to five years," Prévost said. Drummond Co. Inc., the second-largest coal exporter in Colombia, was not allowed to export coal in the first three months. But that did not create any impact on coal prices, Dubey said.

Russia exported 12.1 million tonnes of coal in March, up from 11.4 million tonnes in February, according to Port News. The pace at which Russia has shipped out coal in the first three months of 2014, if it continues, could help it to easily surpass the 2014 export target of 106 million tonnes. Russia ships most of its coal to Europe and China.

Another country that is aggressively pitching its coal expansion plans is Canada. The country's coal exports are expected to remain on pace with its annual target of 34 million tonnes. The country exported 3.2 million tonnes of coal in March, up from 2 million tonnes in January, according to data from Statistics Canada.

Coal shipments from South Africa's largest coal exporting terminal, Richards Bay, reached 7 million tonnes in March, up from 4.6 million tonnes in January. Despite the increase seen over the first three months of 2014, South Africa's 2014 coal export target of 76 million tonnes could remain distant as tough market conditions play a spoilsport. With coal prices remaining depressed in foreseeable future, South African mines are reducing costs and decreasing output, Prévost said. "At current prices, the profit that exports produce are so low, that it almost compares with those of coal sold in the inland market, considering that a number of costs associated with exports are not present when coal is sold in [South Africa]," he added.

South Africa is among the top coal exporters to India. Goldman Sachs said in a recent research note that India, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan will be the major drivers of coal-fired generation demand in the future. The surprise exclusion was China.

Coal shipments to India increased in the first quarter. India imported 9.2 million tonnes of coal in January, 11.6 million tonnes in February and 11.8 million tonnes in March, according to Reuters. However, in the second half of 2014, India could also see slow growth in imports with an increase in domestic coal output, Dubey said.

China, the world's largest coal importer, saw a significant drop in its imports through the first quarter of 2014, amid the country's quest to control air pollution and curb coal use. "China's coal production and coal shipment growth slowdown did not make room for more coal imports," analyst Helen Lau at Singapore-based research firm UOB Kay Hian said in a note.

China imported 20.5 million tonnes of coal in March, down from 35.1 million tonnes in January. "Going forward, low domestic coal prices and [Chinese yuan] renminbi depreciation will continue to dampen coal imports," Lau said.

Indonesia, which accounts for 43% of China's total coal imports, will be the most affected by China's weak demand. "We expect to see further import slowdown from Indonesian coal," Lau said. In the first quarter, coal imports from Indonesia slowed significantly to only 6% year-over-year growth to 36 million tonnes, compared to 30% year-over-year growth seen in the comparable quarter of 2013.

However, coal still remains the main source of China's energy, accounting for 66% of energy consumption in 2013. As the Chinese coal industry consolidates due to market forces or regulatory policies, and demand growth continues to remain low, China's coal market may still be more or less in balance, Lau said. A report said China's coal imports are expected to remain at the same level as in 2013, at about 267 million tonnes.

Emerging coal mining nations, such as Mozambique and Turkey, are expected to contribute to the oversupply situation forcing higher-cost operations in other countries to shutter, according to Dubey. "There would be incremental increase in the global supplies, but closure of high cost mines should be able to offset that," Dubey added. While Turkey will cater to domestic needs, Mozambique will have to deal with the main problem of infrastructure and associated costs, Prévost said. "In my view Mozambique's potential exports are going to remain small, unless their government fosters rail opportunities," Prévost added.

Source: SNL, 29 May 2014

This month's top international coal headlines

  • South Africa's coal clean-up digs deep with gasification — Reuters
  • Major SA assets fail to make cut in BHP Billiton portfolio remake
    — Mining Weekly
  • Richards Bay spot slips — Platts CTI
  • Glencore H1 coal output up 5% at 71.2 million mt — Platts CTI
  • South African to possibly replace Ukrainian coal — Platts CTI
  • Beijing steps up efforts to curb pollution — World Coal
  • South African coal — Platts CTI
  • Regional report – Japan: into the breach — World Coal
  • Stable Richards Bay FOB spot — Platts CTI
  • The energy landscape today — IEA Southeast Asia Energy Report
  • Junior raises cash for Botswana coal, power project — Mining Weekly
  • Transnet Freight Rail signals bold plans for growth — Mining Weekly
  • South Africa's RBCT exported 5.4Mt of coal in July — Reuters
  • Indian buyers seek SA 5 500 NAR amid tight supply — Platts CTI
  • European traders mull S African thermal coal trades as risk appetite rises
    — Platts CTI
  • RBCT July coal exports climb 10% on month to 5.42Mt — Platts CTI
  • S African 5,500 NAR thermal coal supply tight for Indian buyers — Platts CTI
  • Lower Australian prices into India pressure S African 5 500 NAR coal
    — Platts CTI

News Archive

July 2014
  • Global picture for coal offers reason to pause — Newcastle Herald
  • Australia okays huge India-backed mine — Khaleej Times
  • Richards Bay FOB spot prices dip amid limited Indian demand — Platts CTI
  • Richards Bay spot falls over $1 — Platts CTI
  • Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad — Observer-Reporter
  • Ghana: The Achievements of the Energy Minister - and the
    "Failed Desperation" of Franklin Cudjoe — The Chronicle
  • Mining confidence plumbs the depths — The Australian
  • Richards Bay FOB spot stable — Platts CTI
  • Miners dig in to meet surging coal demand — The Courier-Mail
  • Richards Bay FOB spot ticks up — Platts CTI
  • Exxaro acquires Total Coal South Africa Proprietary Limited — Exxaro
  • SA Mining: What an Iraqi in Norway can teach us all — Daily Maverick
  • Carbon reduction threat to King Coal — The Australian
  • Miners dig in to meet surging coal demand — The Courier-Mail
  • Regional update – Botswana: railways and CBM — World Coal
  • Southern Africa’s largest spreader commissioned at Grootegeluk expansion project — Mining Weekly
  • Coal transportation infrastructure in South Africa — World Coal
  • South African coal priced out of market — Platts CTI
  • EURO COAL-Up on concerns about Colombian supply — Reuters Africa
  • Coal Industry Languishes, but All Is Not Lost - Zacks Analyst Interviews
    — Zacks.com
  • South African arbitrage question — Platts CTI
  • Oversupply of thermal coal could close mines — Reuters
  • South African bids creep up — Platts CTI
  • Coal stocks run dangerously low at India power stations
    — The Straits Times Asia
  • Richards Bay 6,000 NAR rallies — Platts CTI
  • The tiger roars as the dragon sleeps — World Coal
  • Anglo’s South African mines up output, platinum sales ‘normal’ despite strike
    — Mining Weekly
  • Richards Bay FOB prices resume downtrend — Platts CTI
  • Transnet initiates Waterberg rail studies — Mining Weekly
  • Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax
    — The Wall Street Journal
  • Growing renewable generation pushes out coal in the EU — World Coal
  • Richards Bay FOB trades below $70/t for first time in over 4 years — Platts CTI
  • Richards Bay FOB bear-run enters third day to hit sub-$70/t record low
    — Platts CTI
  • Richards Bay prices slip to new lows on Australian competition pressure
    — Platts CTI
  • Indian power firm eyes coal acquisitions in S Africa, Indonesia — Mining Weekly
  • Asia: steam coal prices yet to reach bottom
  • Germany: the power glutton — World Coal
  • Can we really do without coal? — Reuters
  • FOB Richards Bay drops to fresh record low on bearish Asian market
    — Platts CTI
  • UK unions join forces in struggle to save coal mines and power plants
    — World Coal
  • Transnet coal railings up 61% — Platts CTI
  • RBCT June coal exports slip 11.9% on-month to 4.9 million mt — Platts CTI
  • Richards Bay FOB market tradeless — Platts CTI
  • S Africa thermal exports to India up 3% to 3.12 million mt in May: Customs
    — Platts CTI
June 2014
  • EURO COAL-Prices edge lower on healthy supply, weak demand
    — Reuters Africa
  • EURO COAL-Prices fall to new five-year low below $70/tonne — Reuters Africa
  • FOB Richards Bay stable on-day — Platts CTI
  • China searches for an energy revolution — NEWZEA
  • Coal supply to thermal power plants dwindles — The Economic Times
  • Coal Sector Shooting Higher — ZING
  • FOB Richards Bay coal jumps 50 cents on firm spot trade — Platts CTI
  • EURO COAL-Prices fall further on weak demand, oversupply — Reuters Africa
  • Richards Bay FOB drops to 12-day low — Platts CTI
  • Blending of coals to meet power station requirements — BrightTALK
  • Disinvestment critique is black gold — Thomson Reuters Eikon
  • Coal still has a big future — Thomson Reuters Eikon
  • Coal reserves in a carbon constrained future IEA — Clean Coal Centre
  • Richards Bay FOB spot firms further — Platts CTI
  • Big Data and the coal industry — World Coal
  • Coal mines losing money: Anglo — Thomson Reuters Eikon
  • Richards Bay FOB spot market ticks up — Platts CTI
  • Moz to start exporting coal through Nacala by December — Mining Weekly
  • Richards Bay FOB spot gains — Platts CTI
  • A fresh start: coal and power in India — World Coal
  • Indonesia's Coal Industry in 2014 - A Snapshot — Salva Report
  • Is China’s Coal Logistics Plan a game change for coal imports? — Salva Report
  • International coal markets – it’s not all doom and gloom — Salva Report
  • Constrained SA mining sector forcing contractors to seek African operations
    — Mining Weekly
  • FOB Richards Bay spot drops to 10-week low as traders question demand
    — Platts CTI
  • The coal industry and resource nationalism in South Africa — World Coal
  • The German Coal Conundrum: The status of coal power in Germany's energy transition — The Heinrich Böll Stiftung
  • Smoke screens — WASHPO
  • Sasol Mining’s coal projects on track for 2015 completion — Mining Weekly
  • Forbes widens net loss, coal revenue up 5.6% — Mining Weekly
  • Saleable coal production in Mozambique to increase by 67% — Mining Weekly
  • Railway limitations still a serious problem for Mozambique’s coal sector
    — Mining Weekly
  • Development of black junior coal sector now a matter of urgency as Eskom approaches ‘supply cliff’ — Mining Weekly
  • South African Richards Bay Coal Terminal exports 5.58Mt in May — Platts CTI
  • Gas boom dulls carbon rule's effect — LA Times
  • EURO COAL-Prices drop on low summer demand, Ukraine gas compromise
    — Reuters Africa
  • Is Coal Set for a Comeback? — Rupert Hargreaves
May 2014
  • Federal EPA's pollution rules may oust coal — Tribune-Review
  • FOB Richards Bay falls 15 cents on-day — Platts CTI
  • Coal Watch — Platts CTI
  • Outlook for coal remains weak - Yancoal — Mining Weekly
  • Port, Botswana–Moz rail feasibility study set to start this year — Mining Weekly
  • Climate change warnings may be invalid — AFP via I-Net Bridge
  • What to watch in 2014: Policy developments that will shape the coal industry
    — Cornerstone
  • Global thermal import demand growth to slow to 2% a year until 2018: GS
    — Platts CTI
  • Quiet Richards Bay spot gains 80 cents — Platts CTI
  • Concerns about MPRDA Amendment Bill linger as industry awaits President’s verdict — Mining Weekly
  • Botswana ropes in Dutch firm as it seeks to craft coal-bed methane gas development strategy — Mining Weekly
  • Mozambique benefiting from mining taxes but needs to improve infrastructure — Mining Weekly
  • A quarter of Queensland coal produced in the red - QRC — Mining Weekly
  • 1 980 workers to be ‘affected’ by Exxaro’s 2015 restructuring plan
    — Mining Weekly
  • Fossil-free isn't folly free — The Boston Globe
  • FOB Richards Bay spot climbs 35 cents on-day — Platts CTI
  • European physical spot edges lower; S African market firms further — Platts CTI
  • Environmental impacts of KiPower 600 MW plant outlined — Engineering News
  • Turkish coal mine disaster cranks up pressure on miners, utilities — Reuters
  • African Energy waits for higher coal prices or lower freight costs at Mmamabula — Mining Weekly
  • China’s coal output, consumption almost as much as world combined
    — Mining Weekly
  • Richards Bay catches up after outage — Business Day
  • AEO2014: coal prices and productivity — World Coal
  • Coal rules will devastate, say biz groups — The Hill
  • South Africa's RBCT exported 5.5Mt of coal in April — Reuters
  • The deadliest environmental threat (it’s not global warming) — Bjørn Lomborg
  • Richards Bay spot coal not competitive — Platts CTI
  • How green policies hurt the poor — Bjørn Lomborg
  • S Africa’s stuttering economy adds to gloom in run-up to election
    — Financial Times
  • Richards Bay FOB spot remains stable — Platts CTI
  • South Africa’s Richards Bay coal exports fall — World Coal
  • Glencore Xstrata Q1 coal output up 4% on-year to 34.1Mt — Platts CTI
  • South Africa’s Richards Bay April coal exports fall 13% on-year — Platts CTI
  • FOB Richards Bay 6 000 NAR at $77/mt — Platts CTI
  • Alpha Natural, Walter Energy cut coal output to boost prices — Reuters
  • Rio Tinto warns of job cuts at Queensland coal mine — Mining Weekly
  • FOB Richards Bay 6 000 NAR drops to near three-week lows — Platts CTI
  • Why the Chinese are Bullish on Coal – and You Should Be, Too
    — Energy and Capital
April 2014
  • Solar Power Is Booming, But Will Never Replace Coal. Here's Why. — Forbes
  • Solobay: Coal Still Vital Source of Energy and Jobs — pasenate.com
  • Pennsylvania coal group wants government to collaborate on 'clean coal' technology — SNL
  • Indian mining, steel heavyweight opens up shop in SA — Engineering News
  • The Atlantic Basin thermal coal markets – The present and the future
    — Informa Australia
  • Forbes Coal extends Ikwezi property acquisition closing date — Mining Weekly
  • Firestone narrows efforts to optimise Waterberg project — Mining Weekly
  • CoAL progresses turnaround as last noncore asset sale advances
    — Mining Weekly
  • Walter Energy to idle Canadian coal operations — World Coal
  • FOB Richards Bay 6 000 NAR price falls 35 cents on-day — Platts CTI
  • Mick Davis wants BHP’s coal division to be cornerstone of his new
    mining empire — Mining.com
  • Former Xstrata chief seeks to buy BHP thermal coal unit - report — Reuters
  • FOB Richards Bay spot unchanged — Platts CTI
  • Coal-based growth to accelerate; reiterate Buy — UBS
  • Richards Bay 6,000 NAR prompt market slips although tightness persists
    — Platts CTI
  • World Bank gives Mozambique tips on avoiding a ‘painful bust’ as minerals boom beckons — Mining Weekly
  • Arch Coal widens Q1 loss as weak coal prices weigh, lowers guidance
    — Mining Weekly
  • Peabody Energy widens Q1 loss as weak coal prices persist — Mining Weekly
  • Large mining projects under pressure as capital strategies are reviewed
    — Mining Weekly
  • No finality on Eskom ‘support’, but DPE confirms immediate R25bn shortfall
    — Engineering News
  • The fuel of the future, unfortunately — The Economist
  • R17.5m Anglo project to improve, accelerate mine rehabilitation
    — Mining Weekly
  • Spot Richards Bay FOB rises — Platts CTI
  • Richards Bay FOB spot steady amid tightness — Platts CTI
  • El Niño could start as early as July — Financial Times
  • Keaton Energy almost doubles coal output
  • BHP Billiton hikes iron-ore, met coal production forecasts — Mining Weekly
  • Energizer completes Madagascar graphite project consolidation
    — Mining Weekly
  • Walter Energy to idle Canadian operations — Mining Weekly
  • Tulear court grants Lemur tenure over Imaloto permit 4578 — Mining Weekly
  • Martins opens way for coal, co-generation IPPs, extends renewables allocation
    — Mining Weekly
  • Gas emerges as potential aid for Zimbabwe energy crisis — Mining Weekly
  • Development of UCG industry gains momentum as government reveals
    policy stance — Mining Weekly
  • FOB Richards Bay 6 000 price drops 80 cents on-day — Platts CTI
  • Coal gasification: The clean energy of the future? — BBC
  • Mining in sub-Saharan Africa — World Coal
  • Huge export potential for coal from subcontinent — Mining Ne.ws
  • Germany sets a new tone on energy policy — Financial Times
  • Westminster’s £10m loan delays coal mine closure — Financial Times
  • Eskom headed for distress, bailout — Engineering News
  • Martins set to make IPP procurement announcements on Monday
    — Engineering News
  • What future for UK coal? — World Coal
  • Bankruptcy filing unlikely to impact coal market — World Coal
  • Initiatives underway to improve greenfield exploration in SA — Mining Weekly
  • Attack halts coal trains in central Mozambique — Mining Weekly
  • Namibian Resources raises £246 400 of new capital — Mining Weekly
  • Richards Bay FOB spot market climbs to over-three-week high
  • First coal to Eskom from Universal’s Kangala mine — Mining Ne.ws
  • MPs and unions join battle to save two of UK’s last coal mines
    — Financial Times
  • Richards Bay March coal exports hit 5-month high at 6.9Mt — Platts CTI
  • BHP Billiton bullish on coal demand — Mining Weekly
  • Market uncertainty flagged as the major worry for mining juniors in 2014
    — Mining Weekly
  • FOB Richards Bay stable despite Indian demand — Platts CTI
March 2014
  • Huge coal deposits discovered in North Sea — World Coal
  • Scientists clash over UN climate report — Financial Times
  • After shale gas, now for tight oil — Financial Times
  • Strong global, domestic energy needs guarantee long-term demand for SA coal
    — Mining Weekly
  • Beacon Hill able to fund coal wash plant expansion — World Coal
  • Richards Bay FOB thermal coal prices firm on renewed Indian buying
  • CIF ARA spot prices rise $1 on further Drummond loading delay — Platts CTI
  • High-calorific steam coal segment stabilizes in Atlantic region
  • South Africa's Grootegeluk returns normal operation — Metal Expert
  • RBCT ready to boost junior coal exports in partnership with Transnet
    — Mining Weekly
  • Spot FOB Richards Bay swaps at lowest since 2009
  • Germany's Energy Policy Is Failing the Poor, While Being a Poor Way to Help the Climate — Bjorn Lomborg
  • Supplying Eskom is coal industry’s greatest challenge, says professional services firm — Mining Weekly
  • Agreement opens way for 300 MW Moz coal-fired power project
    — Engineering News
  • No current need for separate junior coal terminal – TNPA — Engineering News
  • SA’s Forbes Coal, Riversdale Mining reach long-awaited agreement
    — Platts CTI
  • Coal, gas or nuclear? Power-hungry South Africa must decide now — Reuters
  • KZN coal hub initiative to unlock opportunities across the mineral’s value chain
    — Mining Weekly
  • GlencoreXstrata keen to boost position in coal — Mining Weekly
  • Contested mining legislation approved by Parliament — Mining Weekly
  • S&P rates Exxaro zaA-/zaA-2, SA remains risk — Mining Weekly
  • Belfast colliery feasibility study is on track — Mining Ne.ws
  • SA’s coal resources become expensive to mine — Mining Ne.ws
  • Richards Bay rally gathers pace — Platts CTI
  • CoAL keeps focus on turnaround, Makhado hopes remain high
    — Mining Weekly
  • Glencore acquiring BHP Billiton’s Optimum coal rights approved
    — Mining Weekly
  • Tesla's new $5bn ‘giga-factory’ could spur 37% graphite market growth
    — Mining Weekly
  • Linc Energy wins Polish coal exploration license — World Coal
  • Ukraine crisis to be main coal market driver — World Coal
February 2014
  • Mining in sub-Saharan Africa — World Coal
  • Carbon tax postponed to 2016 — Engineering News
  • A lot of well-meaning people are arguing that in order to tackle global warming,
    we need to disinvest in fossil fuels — Bjorn Lomborg
January 2014
  • Global seaborne coal trade to grow in 2014 on Asian appetite for power, steel
    — SNL