New Hope Corporation

Faced with lower demand, US miners have flooded Asian markets with thermal coal. US coal exports have doubled since 2008 and are now at 20-year highs. As a result coal prices, which averaged $115 a tonne in 2011, now hover around $85 a tonne. Coal miners in Australia, such as New Hope Corporation, ought to worry. Low US gas prices have encouraged gas to displace coal as a generation fuel. Since 2009, coal’s share of electricity generation in the US has fallen from 42% to 34%; lineball with gas. This could signify a structural shift that will force persistently low...

Faced with lower demand, US miners have flooded Asian markets with thermal coal. US coal exports have doubled since 2008 and are now at 20-year highs. As a result coal prices, which averaged $115 a tonne in 2011, now hover around $85 a tonne. Coal miners in Australia, such as New Hope Corporation, ought to worry. Low US gas prices have encouraged gas to displace coal as a generation fuel. Since 2009, coal’s share of electricity generation in the US has fallen from 42% to 34%; lineball with gas. This could signify a structural shift that will force persistently low coal prices. That, at least, appears to be verdict of market; coal miner valuations have been slashed.

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