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0.7% increase in export prices

0.7% increase in export prices
Export prices rose 45 cents, or 0.7%, to an average of 64.05 a metric ton in the week ended Oct. 16.

Export prices rose 45 cents, or 0.7%, to an average of 64.05 a metric ton in the week ended Oct. 16.

Export prices rose 45 cents, or 0.7%, to an average of 64.05 a metric ton in the week ended Oct. 16, according to McCloskey Group. The week was ?very quiet,? Andrew Wells, an assistant editor at Petersfield, England-based McCloskey, said by phone. He speculated that buyers may be waiting for the Oct. 25-27 Coaltrans coal conference in London to get a better feel for the market.

Prices at Richards Bay, Europe"s main source of coal burned for power, have dropped 39% over the past 12 months as companies cut output and jobs to deal with the worst recession since World War II. The coal-market outlook ?should improve significantly,? Sabine Schels, a New York-based analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a report dated Oct. 16.

The price of coal delivered to northwest Europe may climb to more than 100 a ton by the middle of next year, Schels wrote. That price rose 1.6% last week to 73.60 a ton, McCloskey data show. It has slid 38% over the past 12 months. India faces a coal shortage and state-owned Coal India Ltd. is seeking to buy overseas mines. China, the world"s most populous nation, uses and produces more coal than any other country.

Richards Bay Coal Terminal shipped 22% less of the fuel in September than a year earlier. Exports decreased to 4.16 million metric tons from 5.32 million tons, the terminal said in an e-mailed response to questions on Oct. 6, without giving reasons for the decline.

At its September shipment rate, the port will export 57.6 million tons of coal this year, compared with capacity of 76 million tons and shipments of 61.79 million tons last year. The terminal, on South Africa"s northeastern coast, is owned by the country"s largest coal exporters, including Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton Ltd. and Xstrata Plc.

Power-station coal prices at the Australian port of Newcastle, a benchmark for Asia, fell 1.3% to 70.97 a ton in the week to Oct. 16, according to the globalCOAL NEWC Index. While Richards Bay is the world"s biggest coal-export terminal, Newcastle ships more of the fuel from two terminals.

The volume exported from Newcastle in the week ended 7 a.m. local time today dropped to 1.92 million tons from 2.01 million tons a week earlier, Newcastle Port Corp. said on its Web site. Nineteen ships, waiting to load 1.44 million tons of coal, were outside the harbor, down from 25 vessels.


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