World Coking Coal Supply to Keep Tight for 2012

World coking coal supply will keep tight for 2012. Japanese major integrated steel makers and trading firm sources see the demand recovers in advanced countries and increases more in emerging countries including India and China for 2012 from 2011 while Australian coal supply recovered from the impact of heavy rain through early 2011. The coking coal price peaked out from overheated level in 2011 when the price hit record high. However, the price would stay at historical high level when production cost increases in coal producing countries and Chinese domestic coal cost is apparently higher than US$ 200.

Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics expects world coking coal trading volume increases by 23 million tonnes to 295 million tonnes for 2012 from 2011. The volume would renew the record for the first time in 2 years while the volume would decrease by 1 million tonnes in 2011 from 2010.

The bureau expects Australian coking coal export volume will increase by 26 million tonnes for 2012 from 2011 and the volume will be higher than the figure in 2010. The volume represents more than 50% of world trading volume for 2012 while the supply from Australia would be less than 50% in 2011.

China apparently increased coking coal import by around 5 million tonnes to around 20 million tonnes from Mongolia in 2011 from 2010 at the pace in January-November. China reduces the import from seaborne market by slightly more than 7 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes. Chinese net import decreased by 5 million tonnes while the net import volume kept more than 40 million tonnes. China would increase the import mainly from Mongolia for 2012 under limited availability of additional domestic supply.

Coal producers are launching new coking coal mines in Mozambique. Vale launched production at Moatize mine with annual 8.5 million tonnes of coking coal production capacity. Rio Tinto launches the production at Benga mine in early 2012 and plans 1 million tonnes of coking coal production for 2012. Mozambique could export around 50 million tonnes of coking coal in long term while the export will be only small part of the world trading volume for 2012.