Coal prices fall to 12-year lows as China, India join demand slowdown

Sydney Morning Herald, 19th August 2015

Coal futures have fallen to 12-year lows, hit by soaring production and a slowdown in global buying, including from India and China which until recently have been pillars of strong demand.

Benchmark API2 2016 coal futures last settled at $US52.85 a tonne, a level not seen since November 2003. The contract is now over 75 per cent below its 2008 all-time peak and more than 60 per cent below its most recent high following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

The steady and sharp fall in coal prices has knocked down shares of big mining companies like BHP Billiton, Glencore and Rio Tinto, and it has seen many financers exit the sector.

The price fall follows a rise in output from exporters like Australia at the same time as a sharp slowdown in overseas orders from major importers like the United States, and now also China and India.

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