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Global coal roundup: China considers monthly import controls

The International Energy Agency expects global coal consumption to remain stable through 2023, growing about 0.2% annually.

The agency wrote in its report "Coal 2018: Analysis and Forecasts to 2023," which was released Dec. 17, that growth in India and other Asian countries is expected to offset the declining demand for coal in Europe and the United States as the world's coal consumption rises from 5,355 million tons of coal equivalent, or Mtce, in 2017 to 5,418 Mtce in 2023. China, where a quarter of the world's coal is burned for power, is expected to see a gradual decline in demand.

Asia

China: China will likely impose monthly import controls as its top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, looks set to apply a firmer grip on imported coal volumes in 2019, sources told S&P Global Platts on Dec. 27, 2018. The agency also urged domestic coal producers to increase production of domestic coal, with output in 2019 to increase by about 100 million tonnes, the sources said.

* U.S. commodity exports to China slowed as the trade dispute between the two countries grew, but experts warn of bigger consequences if negotiations do not wind down the escalation of tariffs and tension.

Indonesia: Indonesia's thermal coal production could reach between 480 million tonnes and 500 million tonnes in 2019, remaining flat over an estimated 500 million tonnes in 2018, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Indonesian Coal Mining Association.

Australia

* A group aggressively working across the globe to push insurance companies away from the coal sector said some of the world's largest insurers will not be covering Adani Mining Pty. Ltd.'s controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia. The revelation followed the Adani Enterprises Ltd. unit's recent announcement that the company would be self-financing the project.

* Bounty Mining Ltd. slashed output guidance for the December 2018 quarter to 142,000 tonnes of salable coal from the previous guidance of 163,000 tonnes of salable coal. The company also expects lower production, processing and distribution payment during its fiscal second quarter to A$35 million, compared to A$37 million expected previously, according to a Dec. 27, 2018, release.

* Operations at the Mitsubishi Corp. and BHP Group Ltd.-owned Saraji coal mine in Queensland, Australia, resumed Jan. 3 after a person died in a machinery accident Dec. 31, 2018, Australian Mining reported.

Europe

U.S. coal exports to Europe have sharply declined in recent years, falling 40.6% from 2012 to 2017 as many nations began moving away from coal-fired power generation.

Czech Republic: A methane explosion 800 meters underground at OKD, a.s.'s coal mine in the Czech Republic killed 13 miners and severely damaged parts of the mine, Reuters reported Dec. 21, 2018. The accident is the worst mining disaster in the country since 1990 when 30 miners were killed in a fire at a mine in the same region as CSM, according to CTK news agency.

Russia: Mechel PAO said Dec. 19, 2018, that it extended an agreement to supply China's Jidong Cement with up to 2 million tonnes of thermal coal through the end of 2019. Mechel also said Dec. 18, 2018, that it bought 150 new railcars between November and December for 467 million Russian rubles and plans to acquire another 1,000 open-top railcars in 2019 to transport coal.

Middle East

Israel: Israel will stop using coal for electricity production by 2030 as it joins an alliance for a transition to clean energy, Reuters reported Dec. 17.

North America

Canada: Operations were suspended after a roof collapse Dec. 28, 2018, at the underground Donkin coal mine in Nova Scotia, owned and operated by Kameron Collieries ULC. Former workers at the mine had warned of unsafe conditions, calling the mine a "disaster in waiting" in March 2018.

As of Jan. 4, US$1 was equivalent to 67.78 Russian rubles.

S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are both owned by S&P Global Inc.