Trouble on the Aurizon

Coal is a notoriously cyclical business. Mines and freight networks take years to develop, meaning that the good times can last the best part of a decade when supply is tight, and the bad times can last longer when the inevitable wave of new supply arrives. The most recent boom and bust has been a lollapalooza. Prices hit highs of $US343/tonne a few years back. Salivating at the prospect of unprecedented profits, Australia, which accounts for 55% of the seaborne trade in coking coal, increased capacity 28% during the past five years. As new supply came on and China’s...

Coal is a notoriously cyclical business. Mines and freight networks take years to develop, meaning that the good times can last the best part of a decade when supply is tight, and the bad times can last longer when the inevitable wave of new supply arrives.

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