Steelmaking coal gets on a roll

As a market indicator, the most recent export figures from Prince Rupert Port Authority for B.C.’s metallurgical coal sector could not be more grim.

Shipments of steelmaking coal through Ridley Terminals fell 100%, to zero in July, according to the port’s July 2016 monthly snapshot. It was the first time since the annual July snapshots started being published in 2010 that no steelmaking coal passed through Prince Rupert in that month.

But a recent dramatic rally in metallurgical (met) coal prices and the acquisition of three idled coal mines in the Peace region suggest the sector may be turning a corner.

Steelmaking coal prices have shot up nearly 140% since the beginning of 2016, and earlier this month jumped a whopping 20% in the span of just one week.

Since spring, spot prices for met coal rose from US$90 per tonne to as high as US$180 per tonne.

“It jumped $20 in one day,” said Jim Truman, director of global metallurgical coal markets for Wood Mackenzie.

Read the full article on BIV.com.