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Alpha Natural Resources remains in the red in Q3

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World Coal,

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) has reported a loss of US$185 million on revenues of US$1.1 billion. This compares with a US$458 million loss in Q3 2013 and US$512 million Q2 of this year.

“While coal markets remained extremely challenging in the third quarter, we continue to be proactive by thoughtfully rationalising our production base, reducing costs and maximising efficiency,” said Kevin Crutchfield, chairman and CEO of ANR.

Overall, ANR has lost US$753 million in the first nine months of the year compared to US$755 million in the same period last year.

"While we are pleased with our operational and cost performance in the third quarter, coal pricing remains highly challenging across all regions in both domestic and export markets,” said Paul Vining, ANR’s president. Benchmark prices for Asian hard coking coal remained at near US$120/t for the third consecutive quarter, while the API2 thermal coal prices stayed in the low US$70s/t – well below the break-even point for most US producers. Central Appalachian thermal coal prices also dropped to the low US$50s.

“Given the continued price weakness in these two thermal markets, we are continuing to assess our Central Appalachian thermal production for 2015, as indicated in our updated WARN notification press release in late September. Northern Appalachia has been the strongest thermal market in the third quarter on a relative basis, with prices in the mid-$50s, despite strong competition from the Illinois Basin and softening natural gas prices," concluded Vining.

In September, the company said it would idle three of its coal mines in West Virginia with a number of operations remaining on notice of potential closure.

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