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Coal being unloaded at Beelman River Terminals in Venice, Illinois, using an equilibrium crane custom-engineered by E-Crane for the customer.

TRADE & COMMODITIES

World coal trade 2012

Dr Tim Jones, e-coal.com much milder winter in Europe had kept a cap on thermal coal demand, with consumers having high stocks of coal on their pads. Thermal coal spot markets around the world saw a modest firming in the first week of 2012. Capesize freight markets softened significantly over the holiday period and the approaching Chinese New Year holiday season was to cause the usual lull in international trade. Panamax freight rates had not seen as much of decline on the European route. As the year got under way, thermal coal spot prices began to firm in all the major spot markets. The significant movements in freight rates in 2011 influenced producers’ offered prices, particularly into Europe. By the beginning of 2012 there was little differential

FEBRUARY 2013

At the beginning of 2012, in terms of the global economy, the new year got off to a better start than was expected in some aspects, with employment data from the USA showing encouraging improvements. Financial markets were showing more positive signs during the first week of 2012 and the mining sector took a boost after some positive trade data was published in China. In the coal sector, the wet season in Queensland had so far not disrupted coking coal production significantly, and with lower demand, there was not likely to be much upward impact on prices. Traders had been anticipating a softening trend in the spot price in the first quarter, with some possible change in March if the Chinese picked up demand. The

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World coal trade 2012