Coal Prices Lower on Sluggish Demand

Posted by Michelle Howard
Monday, April 07, 2014

European physical coal prices were lower on Monday afternoon on sluggish demand and as continuing over-supply weighed on prices.

Cargoes for delivery in May to the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) were valued at around $73.20 a tonne, almost $4 lower than the previous settlement on Friday.

ARA coal for June delivery was valued around $75.65 a tonne, slightly below its previous settlement on March 25 of $76.00.

"Buying has been patchy of late - there isn't much demand," one coal trader said.

The API2 2015 coal futures contract saw bids of $79.65 a tonne, below Friday's settlement price of $79.91.

Analysts said the market was eyeing a psychological support level of $80 a tonne but there were no clear drivers which would push prices up.

"Downside could come from the front of the curve as Drummond direct loading appears to be working," analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said.

U.S. coal miner Drummond Inc. has resumed exports of coal from Colombia after stopping in January due to environmental legislation, adding to a market which is already over-supplied.

Drummond had to construct a legally-compliant infrastructure which poured coal straight into ships' holds from a covered conveyor belt, doing away with the now-banned use of cranes and barges that caused pollution.

Meanwhile, Britain's National Grid said on Monday utilities were likely to burn more coal than gas in Britain this summer due to low demand for gas and low coal and carbon prices.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney, editing by David Evans)

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