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Market reaction mixed on impact North Goonyella coking coal force majeure

Singapore — Market opinion was mixed Wednesday over the impact of the force majeure on North Goonyella coking coal on the metallurgical coal spot market.

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"The total volume of North Goonyella coal is small, so it is easily covered by other alternatives," a buyer source said.

However, a trader said the impact would be "large" as it would increase the already tight supply of premium mid-low coking coal for November delivery in the FOB market.

Peabody Wednesday confirmed it had declared force majeure due to elevated gas levels at the mine site in the Australian state of Queensland, but did not indicate a time frame for how long it would be in place.

"We will assess the implications as time goes by and provide an update when we have more information to do so," a Peabody spokesman said.

Some market sources said they were bracing for the force majeure to remain in place for two to three months.

The mine's roughly 3 million st/year of production is a relatively small component of the 330 million st/year seaborne market, though coal from the mine is noted for its quality, S&P Global Platts reported earlier.

Peabody has nine operations in Australia producing metallurgical and thermal coal products for export, shipping a total 11.7 million st of coal in 2017 to more than 15 countries.

--Kate Zhou, kate.zhou@spglobal.com

--Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@spglobal.com