EUROPEAN COAL: March DES cargo trades at highest level in over two months
London (Platts)--20Feb2013/1255 pm EST/1755 GMT
The European-delivered thermal coal market traded at its highest level
in over two months Wednesday afternoon as sources said that the market is
finally reacting to tightening supplies following the ongoing disruption in
A 50,000 mt generic origin March DES Rotterdam shipment traded at
$90.50/mt through London Commodity Brokers, $1.50 higher than the Platts
90-day CIF ARA price and the highest trade in the DES ARA brokered market
since December 11.
Market sources said that the extended supply problems in Colombia are
finally starting to give the European thermal coal prices a bullish push, as
both the industrial action in Colombia's largest coal producer Cerrejon and a
temporary ban on exports from second biggest exporter Drummond have no
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"The Drummond ban is dragging on and is increasingly being mired by
problems, as the solution is not as straight forward was once thought," a
north European utility source said, adding that the problem is turning "more
complicated and nebulous."
Drummond coal exports were temporarily banned on February 6 by
Colombia's environmental license authority ANLA after it was reported that
the miner dumped coal into the sea while rescuing a sinking coal barge.
The utility source also said that the third-largest exporter, Prodeco, a
unit of Swiss commodities trader Glencore, is still suffering from loading
delays caused by strong winds in its Caribbean coal export terminal, which is
adding to the existing problems in Colombian supplies.
However, Platts could not confirm that loading delays are under way.
Despite the shortfall in Colombian thermal coal into Europe, stocks in
Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp remain healthy, with market participants saying
that they remained well supplied with coal from South Africa and Russia.
The surplus availability of thermal coal in the Atlantic basin initially
put pressure on European spot prices after Cerrejon workers declared strike
on February 7, with Platts 90-day CIF ARA price shedding over $2 in the week
to February 15.
However, as the talks between Cerrejon and its mine workers union
Sintracarbon broke down over the weekend, prices have gained almost $2 since
Friday to a week high of $89/mt Tuesday.
--Jaime Concha, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by James Leech, email@example.com