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Colombian coal exports fall to near 12-year low in November


Lowest exports since December 2008

Year-to-date exports down 2.7% on year

Houston — Colombian coal exports fell to a near 12-year low 2.02 million mt in November, down 40.6% from October and 59.1% lower than the year-ago month, according to data from government statistics agency DANE.

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The 2.02 million mt was the lowest monthly figure since 1.35 million mt in December 2008, according to the data published Jan. 1. The latest month was also down 64.5% from the five-year average for the corresponding month and was the second-lowest total in a month of October in the last 20 years, only higher than 1.08 million mt in November 2008.

Through the first 11 months of 2020, Colombia exported 66.47 million mt of coal, down 2.7% from the same period in 2019 and the lowest since 62.7 million mt in 2009.

Workers at the Cerrejon mine ended a three-month strike on Nov. 30 with labor union Sintracarbon by signing an agreement that will allow production to continue through Dec. 31, 2023. The mine, which is equally owned by Glencore, BHP and Anglo American, said in August it exported just 9.5 million mt in the first six months of 2020, down 3.8 million mt from a year earlier and the lowest figure for a six-month period in 18 years.

Export receipts from coal also totaled a near 12-year low $151.06 million in November, down 32.6% from October and 51.8% lower year on year. It was the lowest total for coal receipts in a month since $123.71 million in December 2008.

However, on a price per ton basis, exports were at a 17-month high $74.75/mt FOB, up from $65.89/mt in October and $63.38/mt in the year-ago month. It was the second straight month with a yearly increase and was also up from $69.29/mt, the five-year average for the corresponding month.

Through the first 11 months of 2020, receipts were a combined $3.88 billion, or $58.41/mt, down from $5.26 billion, or $76.99/mt, in the same period a year earlier. The cumulative receipts were the lowest in