The Coal Trader

Coal News for Mining & Investing Professionals

EU coal terminal stocks decline to 2024 low

Coal stocks at northwestern European import terminals have fallen 3% over the past week to their lowest level since the start of the year amid a seasonal decline in demand and increased reloadings onto barges.

Combined inventories at four key terminals in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) were assessed last at 5.52m tonnes, a weekly decline of 0.17m tonnes and the lowest since 27 December, Montel estimates of port data showed on Wednesday.

“This is seasonal,” said a source at a large ARA import terminal, adding that “the big energy crisis is over, so we have a normal coal seasonality again”.

“Because of a still very high reload program, stocks are lower, but throughput is still the same,” she said.

Over the coming months, the terminal was anticipating increased volumes of iron ore and pulverised coal injection – which is used in steelmaking – instead of coal, she said.

Despite slowing regional demand, the benchmark API 2 coal front-month contract hovered its highest levels since October, at around USD 120/t on Ice Futures, amid concerns of disruptions to US supply and growing Asian demand for the fuel.

Of the ARA stock total, inventories at Rotterdam’s EMO terminal were 0.1m tonnes lower on the week at 3m tonnes, while stocks at the OBA terminal in Amsterdam were down 0.03m tonnes at 1.87m tonnes.

Inventories at Rotterdam’s smaller EBS terminal were down by nearly half at 0.56m tonnes, while Ovet’s Vlissingen terminal near Antwerp reported a decline of 0.01m tonnes to 0.595m tonnes, of which 0.58m tonnes were thermal.

By Laurence Walker