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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

China coal consumption continues to rise

Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

According to the China Electricity Council, China coal demand will reach 4.3 billion tons by 2015 an increase of 970 million tons compared to the year 2010 and an annual increase of 5.2%.

An expert told the paper that as the cost of coal supply and labor increases and the coal resource tax rises, China may see higher coal prices and shortage in supply during the 12th Five-Year Plan period.

The paper cited an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that resource shortages may affect the nation economic development.

In 2011, China consumed 3.7 billion tons of coal with domestic coal output of 3.52 billion tons and imports of 170 million tons. The amount was almost half of the world's total coal consumption.

(Sourced from Shanghai Securities News)

China 2011 raw coal output up by 9pct YoY - Report

Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

People Daily citing figures from a national coal conference reported that China produced 3.52 billion tonnes of raw coal in 2011 up by 8.7%YoY.

The newspaper reported that the conference also called for controls on coal consumption and measures to force industries to upgrade and improve energy efficiency.

The National Bureau of Statistics which publishes China commodities output and other data does not regularly disclose raw coal production figures.

The statistics bureau has said Energy consumption totalled 3.48 billion tonnes of standard coal last year up by 7%YoY.

According to the bureau of the total, coal consumption increased 9.7% YoY. It did not give an outright volume.

(Sourced from People Daily)

CIL needs to produce 220 million tonne more to meet PMO directive

Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

BS reported that Coal India Ltd is in a spot of bother. In order to meet the directive from the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure supply for 20 years to power plants of 50,000 MW that would be commissioned by March 2015, the firm has to produce an additional 220 million tonnes of coal by then considering the fact that it is shying away from imports.

According to experts, this is close to impossible for a firm reeling from environment hurdles.

Mr HK Vaidya chief general manager (sales and marketing) of CIL said that “In 2009-10, we had supplied 298 million tonne to the power sector. In 2010-11, it increased to 304 million tonne and this financial year we expect to supply 310 million tonne, though our target was 347 million tonne. During the financial year 2012-13, we are keeping the same target and is anticipated to meet it. However, if we have to supply an additional 50,000 MW, we need another 220 million tonne of coal.”

According to experts, 4.4 million tonne of coal is needed for every 1,000 MW of power generated. This comes a week after the firm’s acting chairman and managing director Ms Zohra Chatterji said the firm is not in the business of imports. Besides, its effort to strike a long-term offtake deal did not work out as it failed to find any back to back takers in India. CIL’s effort to acquire mines in South Africa, the United States and Australia, too is also moving at a snail’s pace.

A top CIL official said this addition of 220 million tonne is difficult, due to the environment issues. As per the figures available, at least 131 proposals are awaiting stage-I forestry clearance in the state and the Ministry of Environment and Forests and 49 projects are waiting for stage-II of forestry clearance. On the other hand, 74 projects are stuck at different levels of environment clearances.

According to Mr NC Jha former chairman and managing director of the firm, who retired last month, these environmental and forestry issues are the biggest hindrances for CIL’s growth, the government has to strike a balance and give these clearances in a swift pace. The firm’s demand supply gap this financial year is supposed to be above 130 MT. While it produced 431 MT of coal last fiscal, Chatterji had said it is likely to be around the same level.

(Sourced from BS)

Euro coal prices move up slightly with strong oil - Report

Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

Reuters reported that prompt physical coal prices rose by around 50 cents in line with oil's gains but aside from a few Calendar 2013 trades, activity was muted.

Oil hit USD 123 a barrel, a 9 month high, as Iran related tensions and supply risks overshadowed weak economic data from Europe and China.

One European trader said that "There's still far too much coal, in Europe especially and this rise in prices can't be justified by fundamentals, which are weak."

Another trader said that "I was cautiously optimistic at the start of the year that prices would steady and start recovering in a few months but everybody is offering US coal into everywhere possible."

China's import statistics for January 2012 showed a fall of 8% from December 2011 level.

On an annual basis, China's coal imports rose nearly 4% and hit a record 22.14 million tonnes in November 2011. South African imports alone in Q4 were also at record levels for each month.

But since the government imposed a price ceiling of USD 130 a tonne on coal prices, domestic prices dropped sharply and fresh import buying started to tail off.

US and Colombian coal has continued to be shipped in large quantity to ARA although utilities and traders are trying to re sell into Asia as far as possible because European stockpiles are close to full. Colombian coal is being sold into tenders in South Korea, US coal is being offered to China, India and southern Europe.

An April 2012 South African cargo was bid and offered at USD 106.00 but the counterparties cannot trade with each other. An April 2012 DES cargo was bid at USD 97.50 and offered at USD 100.50, up around 50 cents.

A May 2012 DES ARA multi origin cargo was bid at USD 98.25 and offered at USD 103.00, also up around 50 cents.

(Sourced from

ArcelorMittal studies expansion of iron ore production in Canada

Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

Bloomberg reported that ArcelorMittal is studying an expansion of its Canada iron-ore production to 48 million metric tonnes a year.

Mr said Peter Kukielski head of mining said that ArcelorMittal plans Liberian iron ore production of 4 million tonnes this year, rising to 15 million tonnes by 2015.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

India charters new tanker to ship more Iranian crude

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012

Press TV reported that India’s largest refiner has chartered a tanker to enable the South Asian country to import more crude oil from the Islamic Republic.

The Indian Oil Company has booked the Mykonos Warrior, currently sailing in the Indian Ocean to ship more than 130,000 tonnes of Iranian crude to Mundra on India’s west coast in March. The Liberia flagged vessel is reportedly expected to arrive in Iran’s Kharg Island on March 9th 2012.

India purchases around USD 12 billion worth of Iranian crude every year about 12% of its total consumption. In January, Iranian crude exports to India rose to 550,000 barrels a day up 37.5% from December 2011.

New Delhi’s growing interest in expanding its trade ties with Tehran comes as the Western powers recently adopted fresh sanctions against Iran's oil and financial sectors and have ever since sought to pressure other countries to follow suit.

On December 31st 2011, The United States imposed new sanctions against the Islamic Republic aimed at preventing other countries from importing Iran’s oil and doing transactions with its Central Bank.

European Union foreign ministers also approved sanctions against Iran’s oil and financial sectors on January 23rd 2012 including a ban on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the country’s Central Bank within EU states and a ban on selling diamonds, gold and other precious metals to Tehran.

Many observers believe that India will press on with its plan to increase trade ties with the Islamic Republic despite the fresh Western sanctions.

(Sourced from Press TV)

Steam coal prices dip by 50 with weaker oil prices

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012

Reuters reported that prompt physical coal prices fell a marginal 50 US cents a tonne on Monday in line with weaker oil.

An April South African cargo traded at USD 105.25, down 75 cents.

A March DES ARA Russian Panamax traded at USD 98.85, little changed

An April South African cargo was bid at USD 105.25 and offered at USD 107.00, little changed
A March DES ARA cargo was bid at USD 95 and offered at USD 99, down around 50 cents
An April DES cargo was bid at USD 98.50 and offered at USD 100, down around 75 cents

Expectations of improved economic growth and consequent demand for power are reflected in the stronger forward prices.

Brent crude prices pulled back on Monday after a recent jump as concerns about the effect of higher oil prices on global growth and a stronger dollar helped counter ongoing fears about tensions with Iran.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Cowhig)

Coal occupies 31pct of total export of Mongolia

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012

According to Mongol Bank statistics, foreign trade turnover of Mongolia has reached USD 735.2 million in the end of January and it has grown by 32 percent in comparison of January, 2011.

Total export balance of trade has grown by 15.2 percent in comparison of January, 2011 and import balance of trade has grown by 42.1 percent. Import growth has influenced to foreign trade deficit that has been accounted USD 254.6 million.

Coal export has occupied 31.2% of total export and Mongolia has exported 21 million tons of coal to China. Also copper enrichment export has occupied 27.8%, iron ore 15.7% and crude oil 8.1% of total export.

Main export goods’ border prices have been increased by 11.8% and import goods’ prices have been increased by 49.1%. Export and import prices’ increases have influenced to foreign trade total goods circulation growth.


RBCT steam coal prices advance

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012

Coal export prices at South Africa’s Richards Bay, the continent’s biggest terminal for shipping the fuel, rose for a second week.

According to IHS McCloskey data on Bloomberg, prices added USD 1.27 or 1.2% to USD 106.11 a metric tonne in the week ended February 24. That’s the highest level since January 27.

The price is quoted on a free-on-board basis, which excludes delivery costs.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Rio and Vale in talks on infrastructure sharing in Guinea

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012

According to the Australian Financial Review, Rio Tinto Ltd is in talks with Brazilian mining giant Vale about sharing rail and port infrastructure for their two Simandou iron ore projects in Guinea, in a significant shift for the Anglo Australian miner.

The newspaper reported that sources close to Rio have said that talks between the two miners were taking place before the signing of a final infrastructure agreement with Guinea's government.

The discussions are being held in parliament over Rio's ability to access the coal infrastructure that Vale is constructing in Mozambique where both miners have coking coal projects.

Rio had previously denied that Vale or its partner, BSG Resources, had any rights to develop the Northern half of the Simandou project, which the Guinean governments removed from Rio's ownership in 2008.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Mozambique suspends Tete licencing

Monday, 27 Feb 2012

Reuters reported that Mozambique will not issue any more new coal prospecting licenses for its Tete province, where the likes of Rio Tinto and Vale have started a global rush in search for coking coal.

The former Portuguese colony has seen a flood of foreign investment on the back of a boom in its coal mining sector, with Tete estimated to hold one of the world's largest reserves of coking coal, used in the production of steel.

Those not already active in the country have been setting up offices in the southern African country, hoping to get a foothold there via future licensing rounds.

Mozambiue national mining inspector Mr Afonso Mabica told Reuters that “Tete is now overloaded with coal projects. We now want to concentrate on the existing licenses and projects. If we find companies which are not complying or giving up, we will take their licenses back. Eventually, we can decide to issue new licenses.”

The decision will not affect those who already hold a prospecting licence and who will eventually need to get a mining permit as their projects advance.

Official figures show some 112 coal licenses had been issued to 45 national and international companies for the Tete province. So far only Vale has begun exporting coal.

Earlier the minister for mineral resources said that a new mining law, which will go for approval in April, will not propose any changes to the current tax regime and any changes will be small and seek to streamline and simplify procedures rather than erect additional hurdles for investors.

Ms Esperanca Bias told a news conference that “The new mining law will not tamper with taxation. There is no need because we charge the same tax that is charged in the region, in the specific case of coal it is 3% of revenues.”

She said it would be unfair to change the taxes when apart from Vale the mining firms had yet to get any returns on their investment in the country.

(Sourced from Reuters)

Port Kembla Coal Terminal workers resume work

Monday, 27 Feb 2012

It is reported that coal is being loaded again at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal after a weeks-long campaign of industrial action was called off on February 23rd 2012 and employees returned to work.

The industrial action came to an end after a deal was reached between coal terminal management and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union over a new enterprise agreement.

The rolling stoppages shut down the terminal for seven days last week and more action had been planned.

But the deal means almost 100 employees are back at work and coal is again being loaded onto ships which had been waiting offshore.

It also means the threat by freight company Pacific National to stand down 61 Illawarra-based train drivers will not go ahead.

CFMEU district vice president Mr Bob Timbs said terminal management had agreed to a 4.5% pay rise per year for three years, plus job security provisions and the ability for all parts of the agreement to be arbitrated at Fair Work Australia if necessary.

Mr Timbs said that "From the outset, terminal workers themselves have driven this result; from deciding to take industrial action at the ballot through to showing the resolve in striking for their conditions.”

He added that "They offered to help out some of the smaller terminal users who were affected by the strike to avoid undue financial hardship."

Port Kembla Coal Terminal general manager Mr Peter Green welcomed the in-principle agreement and the end to the industrial action. He said he expected the CFMEU leadership would genuinely recommend the deal to members.

(Sourced from

Sunday, February 26, 2012

CIL to float tender from Mozambique

Sunday, 26 Feb 2012

ET reported that having cancelled bids submitted for exploration of its Mozambique coal block twice, Coal India has decided to invite expression of interest from Mozambique which will now be handled by Coal India Africana Limitada.

CIAL, a 100% subsidiary of Coal India, was floated in Mozambique when Coal India acquired a coal block in the country. Earlier the bidding process was being handled by another Coal India subsidiary Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd which is based out of Ranchi in Jharkhand.

Cancellation of bids comes at a time when the government has asked CIL to sign fuel supply agreements with all new power units that have come up between 2009 and 2012. It has also been asked to sign FSAs for units that will come up between 2012 and 2015.

The Mozambique block was acquired to import the coal to meet domestic demand from customers in Western India. If the first round of bidding had yield results, the company could have produced by 2014, as originally planned.

During the first time in 2010, biddings were cancelled because of issues with the bank guarantees submitted by the bidders.

The second round of bidding, during 2011, was also cancelled after the lowest bidder imposed new conditions on exploring the coal block which were not part of the notice inviting tenders.

During both the tendering processes three companies had submitted their bids. They were Mining Associates, Indu-CBS Joint Venture and Kartikeyan.

(Sourced from ET)