Concerns on coal have also come from political quarters, as Power Minister RK Singh describes the situation as "touch and go" By - Mohammed Kudrati | Boom Live India is running perilously low on coal for thermal power generation, shows data from the Central Electricity Authority. According to their daily release on coal stocks through the National Power Portal, 15 of India's 135 coal-fired thermal power plants have zero days worth of coal, which is as of September 30. On average, the data shows that there is only four days worth of coal stock, that is 8.082 million tons of coal. The data show that the daily requirement for coal across all categories of plants is 1.825 million tons. 104 power plants have critical or super critical supplies, which the data show is eight days or less worth of supplies...Full Story
As a severe power crunch roils China’s northeastern industrial heartland, senior officials face mounting pressure from alarmed citizens to ramp up coal imports thick and fast in order to keep lights on, factories open and even water supplies flowing.
With electricity shortages sparked by scant coal supply crippling large sections of industry, the governor of Jilin province, one of the hardest hit in the world’s no.2 economy, called for a surge in coal imports, while a power company association said supply was being expanded “at any cost”.
News organisations and social media carried reports and posts saying the lack of power in the northeast had shut down traffic lights…Full Story
By Dan Murtaugh and Vanessa Dezem | Sydney Morning Herald
Coal is seeing a dramatic spike in demand just as several major miners are hit with production problems, sparking a surge in prices from China to Europe.
Prices for the dirtiest fossil fuel are soaring as sweltering temperatures in North Asia increase air conditioning needs, adding to already strong demand due to the industrial recovery from the pandemic. Mine safety issues in China, heavy rainfall in Indonesia and disruptions in Colombia are constraining output.
The price spike comes amid an existential crisis for coal, with climate policies making it increasingly difficult to invest in new projects. The squeeze might not change that, but it’s providing miners with a windfall while it lasts…Full Story
An uptick in the number of coronavirus cases in Indonesia have stoked concerns on the possibility for various coal consuming regions to implement more stringent checks on ships coming from Kalimantan, sources said Monday.
China imported 68.1 million mt of coal in the first two months of this year, up 33.3% from 51.1 million mt from the year-ago figure, according to data from the country’s General Administration of Customs.
Seaborne thermal coal traders largely attributed the reason for the surge in imports to a domestic production crunch since the COVID-19 outbreak in late January.
A South China-based trader said incoming ships from Indonesia might have to go through Chinese quarantine checks, just like how outgoing Chinese ships faced safety checks earlier last month.
Some ports in southern China have already imposed import restrictions on seaborne coal, and it could worsen if China decides to further quarantine and check on incoming Indonesian ships, said an east China-based source…Full Story
Optimum Coal Mine in Middelburg, Mpumalanga went up in flames after a fire set the mine’s conveyor belts alight on Sunday.
The Middleburg Observer reports that while it is unclear what caused the fire, it is believed that it may be sabotage.
Initial reports suggest that the fire started next to the conveyor belts and then spread onto the mine grounds.
The former Gupta-linked mine, which supplied coal to Eskom, had gone under business rescue in February 2018.
Gupta-owned Tegeta bought Optimum from Glencore in 2016 for R2.15bn in a deal shrouded in mystery, Fin24 previously reported.
Business rescue practitioner, Louis Klopper told News24 on Monday he did not want to speculate on the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“One of the overhead transmission cables fell down into the dry grass and set it alight, simple as that…Full Story
India is the world’s fastest-growing market for the fossil fuel. So why are investors fleeing?
If India is such a bright hope for global coal demand, why can’t investors see it?
The country will experience the largest increase in coal burning through 2023, according to the International Energy Agency, with a 3.9% annual pace of growth that should be enough to offset falling consumption in developed countries. BloombergNEF, whose forecasts tend to be less bullish than the IEA’s on fossil fuel demand, is not far behind: Coal-fired generation will increase about 48% by 2030 to hit 1,512 terawatt-hours, more than all of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
The curious thing is that when you look at the Indian power sector, there are few signs it’s on the brink of a boom. Quite the opposite: As many as 65 gigawatts of the 90GW of private-sector generators connected in India are under financial stress, according to a parliamentary report last year. As my colleague Andy Mukherjee has written, the resulting 1.8 trillion rupees ($26 billion) in bad loans is contributing to a nonperforming asset crisis that risks undermining the Indian financial system.
Furthermore, activity to increase coal-fired generation is overwhelmingly dependent on state support. Out of 48GW of coal generators planned to be built by 2027 under the country’s current electricity plan, just 14% is being developed by the private sector; a matching 48GW of generation is already slated for retirement by the same date.
Even that modest level of private investment appears to be retreating now, according to a report published Friday by the Centre for Financial Accountability, a Delhi-based group pushing for better standards of development finance. Lending to coal-fired power fell 90% in 2018, to 60 billion rupees from 608 billion rupees the previous year, the CFA said. The vast majority of that total was refinancing of existing plants: Just 12 billion rupees was dedicated to new generation, all of it to just one state-backed plant in Uttar Pradesh…Full Story
There wasn’t a great deal of activity in the Asian markets today, as most market participants wait to see if next weeks coal conference in Bali will shed some light on the direction of the market.
The heavy flooding in Kalimantan continues to have an impact on coal cargos from Indonesia, which are still delayed as the damage caused by the heavy rains is repaired.
Offers for 3800NAR were heard at $38.00/mt for geared and grabbed panamax loading in July.
A bid for 3700NAR was heard at $34.65 for a July Supramax
Not much activity in the Newcastle physical coal market today, although an for an August loading cargo of 6000NAR was heard at $70.00 in 55kt.
Jul loading capes are seen valued at $51.00/mt for high ash 5500NAR material, by Chinese buyers. Sellers are not biting and continue to hold for higher prices around $53-$54.00/mt.
McCloskey reports that there, “was a lot of talk today about a notice distributed to all ports by customs reminding them of their duty to pay attention to the “quality” of coal imports.”
A cape of Colombian material was heard at $63.00 Bid // 65.50 Offered for 5500NAR CFR Chinese ports.
South African 5,700 kc NAR is valued around API4 minus $4.00/t for July and minus $4.50/t for August loading cargoes.
Due to falling paper prices however, translations for what this means on a fixed-price basis show softer prices, with July at around $57.45/t FOB, basis 4,800 kc NAR
Discounts for 5,500 kc NAR shipments are valued at API4 minus $7.50/mt for July minus $7.50/mt August loading. On a fixed price basis this is approximatley $49.25/t FOB for July Loading cargoes.
Monday has seen a quiet start to the week, probably as market participants watch to see the direction the market will move over the coming few days.
There were few trades in the FOB Newcastle market:
July FOB Newc Traded @ $91.00 in 25kt via globalCOAL (6000NAR)
June FOB Newc Traded @ $89.00 in 25kt via globalCOAL (6000NAR)
May FOB Kals $37.00 Bid / $39.00 Offered 75kt Geared and Grabbed (3800NAR)
May FOB Kals Traded @ $55.00 in 75kt (4800NAR)
May FOB Kals $60.00 Bid / $62.50 Offered 75kt (5500GAR) G&GA
After the prices came off last week, it seems traders are taking a step back to assess the situation in the Asian markets this week. Little activity has kept prices relatively stable so far. South African markets have been quiet after the four trades on Monday.
May FOB heard bid at $28.75 for 3800 GAR cargo
April FOB Kalimantan Trades at $22.15 basis 3000NAR (Geared Vessel)
April FOB $36.50 Bid 3800NAR 75kt (Geared Vessel)
April FOB Kal. heard Trading at $54.80 in 75kt basis 4800NAR
April FOB Vanino $65.00 Offered 50kt basis 5500NAR
Value for 5700NAR min cargos is around API4 minus $8.25 on an Index basis. On a fixed price basis this equates to around $67.40
April FOB RBCT API4 minus $14.00 Bid / minus 13.00 Offered 50kt 5500NAR
May FOB RBCT API4 minus $21.00 Bid / minus $20.00 Offered 75kt 4800NAR
Australian and Indonesian thermal coals are facing downward pressure as a result of reduced prices in the Chinese market, caused by lower consumption at coastal plants and decent stockpiles. Derivatives were also trading lower on Chinese exchanges. Although there does seem to be some physical activity going on as some buyers seem prepared to wear the demurrage risk for customs delays in China, on Australian cargos.
March FOB Heard Traded around $41.00 in 75kt Basis 3800NAR
April FOB $41.00 Bid heard in 75kt basis 3800NAR following the above trade
3400 NAR material was heard bid $31.75 for a
1HApril FOB $59.75 Offered in 75kt 4800NAR
May FOB $50.60 Offered 75kt basis 4400NAR