Coal “’ power pushing
up prices
 
London, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 09 November 2010 – The price of coal burned for the specific purpose of generating power may jump 12% next year as a result of Asian demand for the fuel, and supply constraints among the producer nations.

Reporting this from here, Deutsche Bank AG analyst Daniel Brebner said contract prices for the fuel in the Japanese financial year starting 1 April 2011 would rise to US110/t from US$98/t in the current year. Supplies of seaborne thermal coal would lag behind demand by 13Mt next year, up from a shortage of 2 Mt this year, he wrote.

“Thermal coal has the potential to be the best performer of the bulk commodities in 2011,” Brebner added.

Coal imports by China, the biggest user and producer, jumped 16% in September from the previous month, according to customs data “’ the fourth consecutive such increase.

India imports about 67Mt of coal a year, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal revealed recently. The country’s demand for the fuel might more than triple in the next two decades to 2 billion tonnes, he said.

South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the continent’s biggest export facility for the fuel, exported 52.1Mtof coal in the ten months through October, according to data on its website. That compares with capacity of 91Mt after expansion this year.

Coal deliveries to the port have been disrupted this year. In September, Transnet Limited, the state-owned freight rail and ports operator, said repairs to a bridge damaged by a train derailment between Phalaborwa and Richards Bay could take up to eight weeks to complete.