Australian coal miner Whitehaven predicts that fossil fuel prices in key Asian markets will remain strong for at least the next two years as economies recover from pandemic blocs and a global supply crisis continues.
Whitehaven, one of the nation’s largest independent coal producers, fell to $ 543 million over the 12 months to June 30, hit by the double shocks of the coronavirus pandemic that wiped out demand and unofficial Chinese bans on Australian coal loads.
The sector has also been under pressure as global warming worries lead to a flight of investors, while the United Nations is ahead of next. climate summit in Glasgow, calls on all countries to commit to thermal coal removal between 2030-40.
But in a sign of continued near-term demand for coal, prices for thermal coal used in power generation and the metallurgical coal that supplies the steel industry have risen this year.
“The market is very strong … very tight across every customer jurisdiction,” Whitehaven managing director Paul Flynn told investors on Thursday.
“As all of our customers’ economies grow, customers are asking to promote more tons.”
High-quality thermal coal at Newcastle Harbor, the benchmark in Asia, averaged $ 167 a tonne for the fourth quarter, up more than $ 52 over the same period last year. The standard on metallurgical coal price jumped from $ 82 to $ 149.
As the global energy crisis hits hard in China and raises Australia’s thermal coal price even higher, surpassing a record US $ 230 a tonne this week, Mr Flynn said Whitehaven will expect to be debt-free within six months.