London (Platts)–13 Jun 2018
Premium coking coal prices have surged again, boosting their premiums second-tier HCC and PCI.
On March 23, the TSI HCC FOB Australia was 2.6% below the premium benchmark, the narrowest gap seen to date this year.
Mid-tier PCI spot prices were at a 68.65% relativity to Premium HCC on Wednesday, and an average of 75% in May.
Mid-tier PCI may be used for injection, and in the coke blend, lending a tight differential with prices for low-vol PCI spot assessments, which were at a $1/mt premium over mid-tier PCI on average in May.
Singapore (Platts)–21 Jun 2018
A potential 25% tariff on US coking coals to China may have little long-term impact on most Chinese buyers, though concern about defaults on recent trades is mounting, market sources said.
Earlier in June, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said US exports to China may face additional 25% tariffs. The additional tariff may include US coking coal exports to China.
S&P Global Platts news feature: China-US trade war
This is an abrupt about face which could hit several Chinese buyers, particularly those that have bought US coking coal.
SOPOT, POLAND (June 6, 2018) – Atlantic Basin coking coal prices lifted higher Tuesday, especially for premium grade material, on renewed tightness in Australia and stronger spot demand to restock in China and India with such grades.
A problem with a vessel loader at Abbot Point, Queensland, along with tighter railing availability in Queensland through the critical Goonyella line, were talking points in the market.
Any move to buy more US coal may be limited by general coverage in contracts, and higher volumes committed into buyers, or held for regular inquiries.
High-vol B tightness and steady contract demand may limit attempts to cover gaps in supplies out of Australia with higher quality US high-vol A, mid-vol and other coals.
By Terry Jarrett
Williamson Daily News
Coal is in the news again, thanks to the Trump Administration. But this time there’s a new wrinkle. The administration is aiming for a high-tech approach that could appeal to climate change activists looking to secure realistic reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it is considering investment in the development of small-scale, “modular” coal plants that some are calling the power plants of the future. These compact generating stations can achieve extremely high energy efficiencies, and would be doubly clean when paired with new, cutting-edge systems to enhance the capture of exhaust emissions.
It’s clear that President Trump is standing behind his commitment to revitalize America’s coal sector. But technological advances are emerging that may indeed validate his decision – including an array of systems to fine-tune the trapping of exhaust gases and particulate matter.
To date, America’s coal fleet has invested more than $122 billion on such specialized “scrubbing” equipment. But coal could transition further into the realm of high-tech now that “Super-critical” and “Ultra-supercritical” power plants are coming online to burn coal at far higher temperatures. Under such intense heat and pressure, coal burns more efficiently, yielding lower CO2 emissions per kilowatt generated.
By Matthew Daly
WASHINGTON (June 4, 2018) – Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday defended President Donald Trump’s call to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants, saying a rash of plant retirements is “alarming” and poses a looming crisis for the nation’s power grid.
Experts disagree and say Trump is attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
In a speech in Austin, Texas, Perry said coal and nuclear plants “are retiring at an alarming rate that, if unchecked, will threaten our ability to recover from intentional attacks and natural disasters.”
“The president is right to view grid resilience as a serious national security issue,” Perry said at a conference on cybersecurity.
By Ben Sharples
The heat is on in the global coal market.
Prices of Newcastle coal are at the highest level since 2012 after surging 24 percent since mid-April to $112.05 a metric ton on Thursday as China maintains robust demand during unseasonably hot weather. Despite measures imposed by the top user to cool soaring domestic prices, international miners are on a roll after a five-year downturn that shuttered mines and cost jobs.
China’s power producers have been challenged by extreme weather in 2018, from a cold snap in January to a heatwave in May, draining stockpiles. The nation has boosted coal imports by 8.2 percent to 121 million tons in the first five months this year even as policymakers imposed restrictions on some shipments. Australian cargoes bound for China jumped to an all-time high in April.
By Miranda Green
WASHINGTON, DC (April 19, 2018) – The Trump administration is looking into a Cold War-imposed statute to prop up U.S. coal plants, Bloomberg reports.
The administration is considering implementing the 68-year-old Defense Production Act, which was first passed by Congress in the midst of the Korean War as a way to nationalize an energy industry necessary in times of war.
The Trump administration aims to use the same statute to bolster long-struggling coal and nuclear power plants, various sources tell Bloomberg.
By Brett Samuels
WASHINGTON, DC (April 22, 2018) – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday he plans to increase transparency in how the department uses scientific analysis to create rules and regulations.
Pruitt told radio host John Catsimatidis that he’s found much of the research used to create EPA rules comes from third parties.
“One of the things that we’re changing here soon is to say, look, if third parties are used as the basis of rulemaking as we adopt rules, it’s important for the American people to have transparency on the data that was reviewed,” Pruitt said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
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The American Coal Council submitted comments on April 30, 2018 in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from electric utilities.
ACC’s comments on CCR were made in the broad context of the importance of EPA providing regulatory certainty and clarity and removing barriers or impediments that might cause CCR units to be prematurely closed. Any such premature closures are likely to result in shutting down additional coal generating units. ACC discussed the status of coal plant retirements, including those attributed to previous EPA regulations and policies, and the need to retain the remaining U.S. coal fleet.
ACC’s comments urged EPA to proceed quickly to extend CCR rule compliance deadlines and adopt changes prompted by the WIIN Act legislation, and not to include boron in Appendix IV.