Fear of shortage likely to raise coal prices

South Africa is world’s leading Coal supplier with a proven reserves of around 301 BnT.

South Africa has always been an attraction as a Coal supplier. It has fascinated buyers for sourcing quality Coal owing to geological positioning advantage. Over the course of 10 years (2002-2012), South Africa’s Coal production grew to 261 MnT, with CAGR of 1.6 per cent. For the same period, its average exports were only 27 per cent while the rest 73 per cent was used domestically.

However, in view of increasing demand in the future, South Africa has taken measures to boost its exports.

Coal supplier

 Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) is the port for exclusive Coal loading operations with the capacity of around 90 MnT pa. To meet the future Coal demand, the port has taken up expansion plans to raise its export capacity to 110-120 MnT pa.

In  calendar year 2013, RBCT port has exported around 70.1 MnT. South Africa has exported almost 79 per cent of its total exports to Asia, 18 per cent to Europe and 3 per cent to Africa (excluding South Africa).

 June 2013 on wards, Coal demand has reduced in the international market owing to weak demand and over-supply. This dropped  Coal prices to its lowest level in around 2-3 years. South African Coal prices also rallied over same sentiments. 

Indian buyers preference is more towards imports from South Africa Vs Indonesia. South Africa is a preferred market because of its good quality, port facilities and imports which are more organized than in Indonesia. On the other hand, imports from Indonesia are considered to be less organized, with less developed shipping infrastructure, uncertain quality, and mafias.