The global price of coal has soared to more than $166 per metric tonne and in the medium-term, demand for coal in emerging markets with less strict environmental agenda, particularly Pakistan where coal-fired power dominates generation, is expected to rise.
According to a latest report by market data provider Argus, the Newcastle weekly index, which stood at $46.18 in September 2020, now stands at its all-time high of $195.20 from July 2008. The Richards Bay index, Newcastle’s South African equivalent, also jumped more than 55pc this year, closing at $137.06 per metric tonne last week.
According to Yulia Buchneva, Fitch Ratings’ director in natural resources, thermal coal remains one of the main global energy sources with an over 35pc share in power generation worldwide. “We expect that the share of coal in energy generation will decline driven by the energy transition agenda, however this will have a rather longer-term impact on the market. In the medium-term, demand for coal in emerging markets with less strict environmental agenda, in particular in Pakistan, India and Vietnam, where coal-fired power dominates generation, is expected to rise,” Buchneva said, noting that Europe and the US represent a mere 10 percent of worldwide coal demand.