The article presents the challenges faced by the hard coal mining sector in Poland. The biggest challenge results from a decrease in the demand for coal, which was triggered mainly by the climate policy, including the tightening of environmental standards and an increase in the efficiency of generating units. The fundamental model of the MRÓWKA domestic coal market has been described. The model allows for determining the marginal price of a given fuel for a given generating unit in the system and the optimal mix of fuels to meet the energy demand. The results of the model calculations for the baseline and alternative scenarios were presented. It has been shown that the optimal distribution of coal mining capacities promotes the import of the discussed fuel in the north-eastern part of the country and that the individual customer valuation leads to a decrease in the competitiveness of the units located in the central-western part of the country. The paper also discusses the potential impact of the domestic oversupply on the balance sheet and the price of coal. According to the obtained results and the basic laws of economics, an oversupply of coal leads to a decrease in prices. For the analyzed variants, the dependence of prices was estimated at PLN 0.0308 / GJ for every million tons of the oversupply. The fall in prices is largely due to the fuel supply to units located close to ports or railway border crossings. Based on the presented arguments it can be concluded that the maximization of financial result from the extraction of coal should be based on an analysis taking incremental changes in fuel prices into account.
The purpose of the article was to characterize the international steam coal market based on the latest available data. The information goes back to the first half of 2018. The article focuses on the description of the three largest exporters and importers of steam coal. Representatives in these categories were selected using the latest global statistics on 2017. In 2017, global production of steam coal amounted to 5.68 billion tons and exceeded production in 2016 by 4%. For several years, invariably the world’s leading exporters of steam coal are: Indonesia, Australia and Russia. In total, these three countries in 2017 supplied 73% of steam coal to the international market. However, for the 46% of global steam coal imports (data for 2017), three Asian countries are responsible: China, India and Japan. For each of the six listed countries (i.e. for: three major global exporters and three major global importers), the paper presents volumes related to coal production, export or import. The directions of deliveries or major coal exporters to a given country were also included. At the end of the article, the price situation was presented, as it appeared in the first half of 2018 on the European and Asian markets.
The paper presents selected issues related to the development of international coal markets. World consumption of coal dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, primarily due to the lower demand from China and the US. The share of coal in global primary energy consumption decreased to 28%. World coal production accounted to 3.66 billion toe and it was lower by 6.2% when compared to the previous year. More than 60% of this decline took place in China. The decline in global production was more than four times higher than the decrease in consumption. The sufficiency of the world resources of coal are estimated at 153 years – that is three times more than the sufficiency of oil and gas resources. After several years of decline, coal prices increased by 77% in 2016. The current spot prices are at the level of $80/ton and are close to the 2014 prices. In the European market, after the first half of the year, coal prices reached the level of around 66% higher than in the same period of the last year. The average price in the first half amounted to PLN 12.6/GJ, which is close to the 2012 prices. The share of spot trade in the total purchase amount accounted to approx. 20%. Prices in futures contracts can be estimated on the basis of the Japan-Australia contracts prices and prices in supplies to power plants located in Germany. On average, the prices in supplies to these power plants were higher by approximately 9% in the years 2010 – 2016 and prices in Australia – Japan contracts were 12% higher than CIF ARA prices in 2017. Global energy coal trade reached about 1.012 billion tons in 2016. A decline by 4.8% is expected in 2019 primarily due to the expected reduction in demand in major importing countries in Asia.
Over the past two years, coking coal prices have been the most volatile among major bulk commodities. On the supply side, the most important factor determining the movement of coal prices were weather problems affecting the exports of coal from Australia (Queensland), where the production of the best quality coking coals is concentrated. On the demand side, an important factor is the growing role of China on the market, which, being the world’s largest producer and consumer of metallurgical coal, has also become its largest importer. The dominant, about 75% share of China in the global spot market has resulted in their level of activity influencing the periodic price decreases or increases in international trade and prices based on CFR China (along with Australian FOB prices) have become important indicators to monitor market trends and determine levels of negotiated benchmarks. The exceptional volatility on the market led to a change in the quarterly price fixing mechanism for hard-load hard coal contractors in mid–2017 to apply a formula that assumes the valuation of their quarterly volumes based on the average of the basket of spot price indices. This reflects the broader trend of the evolving market, with growing spot market activity. The article describes the current situation on the international coking coal market and presents short-term forecasts for hard coking hard coal prices (PHCC LV), which are a reference point for fixing prices of other types of metallurgical coal (hard standard, semi-soft, PCI).