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June price rises on utility-led buying
Prices of physical coal for delivery in Europe in June rose on Monday, lifted by utilities filling residual demand in spite of high terminal stockpiles.
Cargoes for delivery in June to the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) traded at $77.90 a tonne, up $0.45 from the previous settlement. ARA cargoes for delivery in April and May did not trade by 1615 GMT on Monday.
A coal trader said the tick higher reflected some additional utility buying in otherwise thin trade, as well as potentially slightly tighter-than-expected supply due to delayed loading programmes in Colombia.
Traders had initially expected U.S.-based Drummond, the second-biggest coal miner in Colombia, to begin loading cargoes this week, not next week as currently planned.
Its exports were shut down by the Colombian government in January because Drummond was unable to immediately comply with a new environmental law banning loading of coal using cranes and barges, but they will resume from around March 24.
“There’s a slight squeeze on second-quarter physical supplies,” the trader said.
Weak demand following a mild winter in Europe and healthy supply have created a global oversupply of coal, and the market is sensitive to how much more supply will be created.
South African physical contracts from its Richards Bay terminal for delivery in June traded at $75 a tonne, unchanged from Friday levels.
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