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Global coal roundup: Asian demand likely to make coal Australia's top export

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Global coal roundup: Asian demand likely to make coal Australia's top export

A roundup of international coal news from June 25 to July 2.

Global seaborne thermal coal supply is expected to fall short of expected demand in the second half amid falling capital expenditures at key miners, Citi analysts said in a note June 25. The analysts expect global seaborne thermal coal supply to be 477 million tonnes in the second half, about 31 million tonnes short of meeting global demand of 508 million tonnes.

Australia

A new thermal coal mine being built in the U.S. will benefit from very good timing, said Paringa Resources Ltd. interim CEO Todd Hannigan, who is overseeing the mine's development. Improving international coal markets, falling utility stockpiles and other favorable indicators bode well for what the previous CEO touted as the first thermal coal mine to open in the U.S. following the election of President Donald Trump. Construction at the company's first mine, which has already contracted sales for much of its initial expected production, is on schedule, and the company will begin mining coal in the coming months, Hannigan said.

Australia's coal exports are projected to reach A$58.1 billion in 2018-19, usurping iron ore as the country's top export earner for the first time in nearly 10 years amid high prices and surging demand from Asia, The Australian reported July 2. Resources Minister Matt Canavan told Australian media that the forecast from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science underpins the case for Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s proposed Carmichael coal mine and the development of Queensland's Galilee Basin.

Glencore PLC has focused efforts to sell its Rolleston coal mine in Queensland, Australia, on Winfield Energy Group, a new entity created by former Peabody Energy Corp. executives Rob Hammond and John Canavan, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported June 29. According to the report, Winfield and its financing plans were well known to Glencore's leadership. Another party said to be involved in the Winfield bid is privately owned Minumbra, known for delivering mining accommodation and other infrastructure projects across northern Australia.

Asia

India: As part of a broader government push to divest state-owned assets, India may sell a stake in fossil fuel behemoth Coal India Ltd., according to a June 18 Bloomberg News report. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported that the size of the stake was being decided and that the sale could come in two rounds. It is not the first time the government, which owns 78.55% of the miner, has tapped Coal India for cash. In early 2015, it fetched US$3.6 billion selling 10% of the state-controlled company, which is often referred to as the world's biggest coal miner.

China: Northern Chinese province Shanxi is set to roll out special emissions restrictions on big industrial sectors by October as part of the country's ongoing fight to curb pollution, Reuters reported June 27. As many as 25 new emissions standards will be imposed on companies in the thermal power, steel, petrochemical, chemical, nonferrous metals and cement sectors, and failure to comply with the new rules will result in fines, an order to renovate, or shuttering. Coking coal producers will have another year to adjust, the report said.

Yancoal Australia Ltd. applied to list its common shares on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The company said June 29 that it will retain its listing on the ASX as it looks to increase liquidity and diversify its investor base. It did not disclose how much it plans to raise with the transaction.

Africa

South Africa: A South African subsidiary of Jindal Steel & Power Ltd., which operates the Kiepersol coal mine in the country, filed for business rescue June 12 along with two other units of the listed South African company, according to documents posted on Jindal Africa's website.

This feature was updated as of 4:23 p.m. ET on July 2. Some external links may require a subscription.