- Coal futures prices have continued to strengthen in Asia. The benchmark ICE Newcastle futures contract broke above $70/ton in early September, extending a rally that has lasted since January, when prices bottomed out at below $50/ton. The latest gains saw the front-month futures price hit $71.15/ton. The contract averaged $70.05/ton in the first half of September, up by 4% from the August average of $61.30/ton.
- Asian coal prices have risen by around 45% from lows of $48.80/ton reached in mid-January. However, they remain far below their January 2011 high of $139/ton. The gains are a result of production cuts – notably in China, which has shut down coal mines and introduced a moratorium on approving new ones until at least 2019.
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