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Global coal roundup: Indonesia's coal benchmark continues 7-month decline

Asia

China: China's coal imports declined to 17.6 million tonnes in February from 33.5 million tonnes in January due to lower demand during Chinese New Year and the country's restrictions on coal purchases, Reuters reported March 8, citing data from China's General Administration of Customs. Coal imports also decreased 15.6% from February 2018, but are expected to increase in March.

Indonesia: The Indonesian government decided to lower the coal benchmark price to $90.57 per tonne in March from $91.80 per tonne in February due to low demand in China, Reuters reported March 4, citing Muhamad Hendrasto, director of coal at the country's energy ministry. The move marks the seventh consecutive month the price has declined.

Vietnam: Vietnam's use of thermal coal in its energy mix is expected to reach 50.5% by 2028, as the country's energy consumption increases, Viet Nam News reported March 6, citing Yoel Sano, head of global political and security risk at Fitch Solutions. The rest of the country's energy mix will consist of 22.5% gas, 22.8% hydropower and 3.8% non-hydro renewables over the next decade, according to Sano.

Australia

North Queensland's coal exports dropped to 8.9 million tonnes in February, the lowest number reported since April 2017, S&P Global Platts reported March 8, citing data from North Queensland Bulk Ports Corp. Coal exports dropped from 11.4 million tonnes a year ago, and from 12.5 million tonnes in January, amid industrial action and weather-related issues.

Europe

ICE Futures Europe and globalCOAL showed that February's traded thermal coal derivatives declined year over year for three consecutive months, S&P Global Platts reported March 7. The volume declined 38.5% to 103.1 million tonnes, which consists of 98% futures and 2% options.

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