Press Releases

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Staying nimble as the South African coal market pivots eastwards

Traditionally, Europe was the natural destination for high quality South African coal exported via Richards Bay; European power plants preferred the high calorific value coal and were prepared to pay a premium for it. In 2005, 65.3 million metric tonnes (Mt) of South African coal was shipped to the Atlantic basin, while just 8.6Mt went to the Pacific market[1].

 

Fast-forward to today and the global market for seaborne thermal coal has changed dramatically. With lower volumes of the high quality ‘RB1’ spec coal available and an increasing amount of lower grade RB2 5700, RB3 and even ‘off-spec’ non-standardised coal being exported, the market has turned eastwards in general – and to India in particular. In 2016, of the ~70Mt of Richards Bay coal exported, approximately 36Mt (50%) went to the Indian market[2]

 

However, in 2017, while India is still the number 1 destination for South African coal, YTD exports to India have dropped by an estimated 10-15%, for the following reasons:

  1. The ongoing impact of the Indian demonitisation, introduced in Q4 2016, continues to cause a lag on the economy; as a result, Indian GDP contracted by 2% in Q2 2017, stifling demand for imported coal
  2. The ongoing roll-out of a new Goods and Service tax, which commentators suggest has introduced an additional air of caution to the market
  3. Coal India has increased domestic production y/y and is encouraging the use of domestic coal by Indian utilities

 

Global factors shape new opportunities for South African coal

As the Indian market has stalled, demand has increased from other, less traditional markets for RB coal. When a price differential opens up between high-grade coal from Newcastle, Australia and similar grades of South African coal, as it has on occasion throughout 2017, Richards Bay coal can become an attractive alternative for power plants in Asia.

Indeed, so far this year, we’ve seen YTD RB exports to South Korea and Taiwan jump to 4Mt and 2Mt[3] respectively, from almost nothing in the same period in 2016.

 

Tried and tested market tools for seaborne coal trade

As global market participants look to diversify their coal supplies, globalCOAL’s Standard Coal Trading Agreement (SCoTA), can be a useful tool. A standard contract, widely used by more than 2,400 companies around the world, SCoTA facilitates the trade of a range of coal qualities and origins, using a robust set of contractual terms and conditions.

 

Asian utilities are accustomed to trading Newcastle coal on SCoTA terms and the option to purchase Richards Bay coal with the same underlying terms and conditions can significantly simplify their logistics and back-office operations.

 

SCoTA has a range of standard specifications for South African coal, or you can tailor it to your own needs.

 

Learn how to use SCoTA and gain a competitive advantage

Norton Rose Fulbright is collaborating with globalCOAL to deliver a 1-day SCoTA Crash Course to help equip South African market participants with the knowledge and legal understanding required to confidently trade globally on SCoTA terms.

Date:     Wednesday 11th October

Where: Norton Rose Fulbright office in Johannesburg

              Learn more and book your place here.

 

[1] Source: globalCOAL, IHS McCloskey

[2] Source: Platts International Coal Report

[3] YTD July 2017. Source: Platts International Coal Report


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TNB Fuel Services Sdn. Bhd. joins globalCOAL

LONDON AND SINGAPORE – 4 May 2017

globalCOAL® announced today that TNB Fuel Services Sdn. Bhd. has joined its international trading community.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, TNB Fuel Services Sdn. Bhd., (TNBF), is one of the largest coal importers in South East Asia. A 100% owned subsidiary of TNB, TNBF procures coal via a number of agreements from producers in Indonesia, Australia, South Africa and Russia.  TNBF purchases and supplies fuel and coal for power generation to TNB’s group of companies as well as independent power producers (IPPs) who are in a power purchase agreement with TNB.

“We are delighted to welcome TNB Fuel Services Sdn. Bhd. to our trading community.” said Richard Richardson, Head of Asia at globalCOAL.  “Access to the globalCOAL trading platform will not only enable TNBF to procure coal with flexibility, but to connect and collaborate with Market Members worldwide.”

 

//ENDS


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Eoghan Cunningham resigns as globalCOAL Executive Officer

globalCOAL® announces that Eoghan Cunningham has resigned as Chief Executive Officer. Eoghan will remain with the company to facilitate a handover of management responsibilities with his exact departure date to be agreed in the coming weeks.

Appointed in June 2005, Eoghan oversaw a period of significant expansion for globalCOAL, with traded volumes increasing tenfold and membership now standing at more than 190. A met coal product was successfully launched in 2015. He also negotiated the company's agreement with Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which saw globalCOAL's NEWC Index listed exclusively on ICE, with 460 million tonnes cleared in 2016.

Craig Wiggill, Chairman of globalCOAL, said, "The Board of globalCOAL thanks Eoghan for his many years of service and leadership at the company, and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours".

Eoghan said, "I am proud of what globalCOAL has achieved over the last 12 years and look forward to further success for the company in the future." He added, "I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life and the challenges that the future brings".

The board of globalCOAL is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Abbott to take on the role of interim Chief Executive on Eoghan’s departure. He will work closely with Eoghan over the coming few weeks to ensure an effective hand-over.

Martin has been the senior independent non-exec director on the board of globalCOAL where he also chaired the Compliance Committee. He was the CEO of LME from 2006 to 2013 where he played an instrumental role in the transformation of the LME, culminating in the sale of the business to HKEx in 2013 for £1.4bn. After the sale, Martin remained at HKEx for a short while to ensure a smooth transition. He was Co-Head of Global Markets and part of the HKEx ExCo where he was responsible for commodities globally, and for delivery of the LME aspects of group strategy. Martin has previously worked for Platts - a McGraw Hill Company, Amalgamated Metal Trading Inc. and Metal Bulletin Plc.

.../ENDS


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globalCOAL 2017 Index Publication Dates

Please find below the 2017 calendar for the publication of the globalCOAL indices:

Friday 27 January 2017

Friday 24 February 2017

Friday 31 March 2017

Friday 28 April 2017

Friday 26 May 2017

Friday 30 June 2017

Friday 28 July 2017

Friday 25 August 2017

Friday 29 September 2017

Friday 27 October 2017

Friday 24 November 2017

Friday 29 December 2017

 

In addition, please note that the following days will be excluded from index calculation in 2017:

Christmas Day – Monday 25 December 2017

Boxing Day – Tuesday 26 December 2017

Easter Friday – Friday 14 April 2017

Easter Monday – Monday 17 April 2017

 

Weekly indices will be published every Friday in 2017 EXCEPT for: Week ending 14 April, when it will be published on Thursday 13 April 2017.


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