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Australian Coal Market News and Analysis

Australia is the world's fourth-largest coal producer as well as one if its largest net exporters – accounting for close to 24% of total world steam coal exports in 2015. Australia mainly exports non-coking coal to China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. IHS Markit predicts the continent will continue to play a key role supplying Asia's top demand centers, with steam coal exports reaching 232MMT by 2020 and steadily increasing through 2040.

Australia presents massive export potential. In 2014, Australia's combined bituminous, subbituminous and lignite reserves amounted to 76BMT. Coal quality differs by geography, with the premium hard-coking coals located in the northeast Bowen Basin and Queensland areas, and low-volatility hard-coking coals in the southeastern New South Wales and Southern Basin regions. The country remains the only supplier with significant volumes of high-calorific value coals that can be brought to market, which should provide a competitive advantage as Asian countries have begun to shift toward using higher CV coal.

Despite its abundant reserves, Australia's coal industry faces several hurdles. Future limits to export potential could include rail and port infrastructure, which currently satisfies market demand but could become costly as mining companies move inland to expand reserves. Similarly, while the government has taken recent steps to repeal several taxes involving mineral resource rents and carbon emissions, future legislation appears likely. Environmental opposition to the Newcastle and Hunter Valley mines and to port access through the Great Barrier Reef poses yet another limitation. Indeed, many proposed developments have been shelved as they require prices well above current levels to promise a reasonable rate of investment return.

You can find the latest Australian coal market data, news and insight through two IHS Markit weekly reports – The Australian Coal Report and Coalfax. Available through our APAC and African Coal Market News & Analysis service, the reports provide:

  • Key price indices – NEX (Newcastle Thermal Coal Export) Index
  • Australian import and export statistics for metallurgical, steam and petcoke
  • Australian production and consumption data for metallurgical, steam and petcoke
  • Analysis of major producers, producing regions, transportation costs, infrastructure, policy
  • Analysis of the latest Australian coal market news: briefs, tenders, stocks, contracts

Visit APAC and African Coal Market News and Analysis Service to view the latest reports.

Connect with an expert

Jim Thompson

He is conversant on worldwide market trends, with a focus on the North American coal markets. Mr. Thompson provides expertise both in thermal coal for electricity production and metallurgical coal for use in the steelmaking process. He is widely quoted by leading financial newspapers and speaks at multiple, industry-related conferences. He has more than two decades of experience in providing analysis and insight on coal markets for coal producers and consumers, as well as for financial analysts and investors.​ Mr. Thompson co-founded Energy Publishing, which was acquired by IHS Markit in 2013, and is now part of IHS Markit. He graduated from Dallas Baptist University.​​

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Scott Dendy

He was instrumental in designing, developing and launching the McCloskey/Xinhua Infolink South China CFR 5,500kc marker as well as API8, API5 and API3 (in conjunction with Argus Media) for IHS Markit. He has overseen the rapid uptake in traded derivative volumes based against IHS Markit's McCloskey Indonesian Sub-bituminous FOB marker. His role demands a good understanding of trading, both in physical and derivative/futures markets, from how they work to how they are developed, launched and adopted. He is also the managing editor of International Nuclear Business from IHS Markit. Previously, Mr. Dendy was the editor of UK Powerfocus for The McCloskey Group, where he closely followed the UK's New Electricity Trading Agreements (NETA). He worked on a number of European power modeling projects for Power Ink Limited, where he also co-edited a quarterly UK power generation report for Financial Times Energy.  During the early 2000s, Mr. Dendy worked within the Power Development division of the international engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald. Before that, he worked at the energy purchasing consultancy John Hall Associates. He has more than 17 years of experience in covering energy-related traded markets. Mr. Dendy has a Master's Degree in History from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

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Bob Hodge

He leads a team of writers who report daily on the US coal industry, assessing coal prices, production, transportation and coal-fired power generation. He has more than a decade of years of experience in research and writing about both thermal and metallurgical coal markets in America, as well as legislative and regulatory issues that impact the coal industry. Mr. Hodge is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, US.

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