The first quarter of 2023 saw a decline in Coal prices on the American market. At the end of the quarter, the price for brown Coal FOB Norfolk (USA) was estimated to be USD 135/MT. However, the United States saw an 8% decrease in coal consumption in this quarter as a result of less pronounced natural gas price increases than in Europe. This made it more difficult for the United States to switch from Coal to gas for the purpose of producing electricity. In fact, the price of coal futures is considerably lower in 2023 than it was in 2022. However, further trade diversions could impede the decline in coal prices by raising transportation costs.
Coal prices in the Asia-Pacific region have drawn contradictory responses during Q1 2023 as a result of China's market experiencing a major increase in Coal supply despite low demand, which led to a decrease in pricing. Furthermore, the performance of the strong dollar put pressure on energy prices, lowering their value. Signals of diminishing worldwide fuel demand, which had a detrimental effect on Coal prices in the APAC market, were another indicator of the economic slump. The downstream chemical industries did not have much demand in the Chinese market. Prices dropped in the worldwide market, which affected how much-imported cargo would cost; in the Chinese market, the price of Thermal Coal Ex Shanghai (China) was assessed at USD 138/MT.
During the first quarter of 2023, Coal prices in the German market experienced conflicting sentiments as the product's supply increased as a result of an increase in imports from the Middle East. Another factor that impacted the German Coal market was a strike by workers at the Hamburg port and several protests in other European nations. Due to declining energy prices balancing increased upstream crude oil prices brought on by the sanctions against Russian imports, the European market had a moderate supply of Coal. Across EU nations, the decline in Coal was not consistent. The largest annual decline in coal consumption was recorded in Germany and Poland, but increases were also recorded in Italy, Finland, and Hungary.
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