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Global coal roundup: Spanish coal use drops to historic lows; China output up

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Global coal roundup: Spanish coal use drops to historic lows; China output up


Spain: Echoing a decline in coal demand for power generation in parts of Western Europe, Spain saw its use of the fossil fuel fall to some of the lowest levels in May and June since records have been kept. The Spanish Electric Network reported that coal-fired power plants contributed just 1.7% to the nation's electricity in May, increasing slightly to 2.1% in June, according to a report in El Pais. This accounted only for electricity consumed on the Spanish mainland.


China: Despite steps to reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions, China's government expects coal consumption to continue to climb in coming years, with approvals for new mines surging this year, according to a Reuters report. The country's energy regulator approved 141 million tonnes of new annual production in the first six months of the year, compared to 25 million tonnes in all of 2018.

* Coal imports into China rose 21.4% in July from June, according to local customs data. The increase to 32.9 million tonnes was attributed to stronger demand for electricity in response to hotter summer temperatures. The increase in imports helped China reach 187.4 million tonnes for the first seven months of the year, according to a Reuters report, up 7% over the same period in 2018.

North America:

Canada: Coal exports through Canada's Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. facility in the second quarter hit their highest levels seen in the last year, with much of the rise in traffic linked to an increase in metallurgical coal. The facility's earnings report showed the terminal moving about 7.6 million tonnes of coal during the period, up 10.1% from the first quarter and down 3.8% from the same period in 2018, according to an S&P Global Platts report.


Stanmore Coal Ltd. received a takeover bid from privately held Winfield Energy valuing the coal producer at between $265.3 million and $300.7 million. Winfield Group is a private Australian coal company and counts former Peabody Energy Corp. executives as its owners, including Executive Chairman Rob Hammond, who is the former managing director and COO of the Peabody Energy Australia unit. John Canavan is managing director of the prospective buyer and was director of M&A at Peabody Energy.

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