Exporting coal

There are two types of coal being exported:

Thermal coal, or steaming coal, for power stations.


Coking or metallurgical coal. It Produces a very strong coke that is not crushed to a powder in a blast furnace. Coking coal used to produce steel.


Thermal coal

Coking coal


Australian export prices for thermal coal have dropped from thier peak. The be encouraged huge investments in mines rails and ports and when these came online the glut forced down the prices. Now a lot of of mines are out of business due to the low price. It is a worry in the industry that the new super mines with imported Chinese or Indian labour will undercut them to put them out of business.

China overtook Japan as the world's top importer of coking coal in 2012 and this year is expected to buy 100 million tonnes, mainly from Australia. That compares to 55 million tonnes for Japan and 40 million tonnes for the EU.

While a slowdown in China's steelmaking industry can take much of the blame, surging supply is another factor pushing prices down.

Top producer BMA, a joint venture between BHP Billiton and Japan's Mitsubishi, increased production 22% in the second half of last year and expected to bring on line Caval Ridge (8 million tonnes a year) and Daunia (4.5 million tonnes).

Canada's Teck Resources, Russia Mechel and Cokal in Indonesia all recently embarked on expansion programs, which are now coming on stream.

Source: Mining.com



Click to enlarge   Source: The conversation