The Coal Trader

Coal News for Mining & Investing Professionals

EU coal terminal stocks highest since June

Coal stocks at northwestern European import terminals have risen 4% over the past week to their highest level in eight months as seaborne imports persist despite muted generation demand, thereby further pressuring prices.

Combined inventories at four key terminals in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) were assessed last at 6.39m tonnes, a weekly increase of 0.27m tonnes and the highest since 19 June, Montel estimates of port data showed on Tuesday. This was largely thanks to abundant seaborne coal arrivals to the region, with European thermal coal imports in January reaching their highest since March last year, of over 4m tonnes, DBX data showed. But the dry bulk data provider provisionally saw imports slipping this month to 3.7m tonnes.

Amid sluggish stock withdrawals by utilities, the benchmark front-month API 2 coal contract on Monday revisited 25 January’s multi-month intraday low of USD 91.80/t, which was the lowest since 2 June, Ice Futures data showed.

German generation slumps
German coal burn last week was the second lowest this year, said a portfolio manager with a domestic energy firm. He noted generation levels were more broadly down by around a third on the year.

A London-based coal broker said in a note, meanwhile, that underlying physical markets were “lacklustre”.

Of the ARA stock total, inventories at Rotterdam’s EMO terminal were 0.1m tonnes higher on the week at 3.7m tonnes, while stocks at the OBA terminal in Amsterdam were flat at 1.95m tonnes.

Inventories at Rotterdam’s smaller EBS terminal were unchanged at 0.55m tonnes, while Ovet’s Vlissingen terminal near Antwerp reported a rise of 0.17m tonnes to 0.69m tonnes, of which 0.65m tonnes were thermal.