According to Business Monitor International (BMI), the Asian seaborne coal market will remain in surplus over 2015 due to weak demand growth and resilient supply from Australia and Indonesia. Import growth from China will disappoint for three reasons. First, government measures to temporarily support domestic coal miners will boost domestic production. Second, coal stockpiles in China are currently elevated. Third, BMI expects Chinese economic growth to continue slowing over the coming quarters, with real GDP growth averaging 6.7% in 2015 compared to consensus expectations of 7.0%, and growth of 7.3% in 2014.
Indian import growth will accelerate and this will be the key bright spot in the seaborne coal market. Coal stockpiles at power plants are perilously low as of Q414 and domestic production growth will be insufficient to replenish supplies. This is particularly the case given the government’s cancelling of 214 private mining block in September 2014, which will inevitably hamper national output growth in 2015.
Adapted from a report by Emma McAleavey.
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