BEIJING The United States
will play an expanding role in the seaborne metallurgical coal
market as traditional supply sources face mounting challenges,
Arch Coal Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd. president Renato Paladino
Rising cost curves around the
world make the United States increasingly competitive, with
relatively low capital expenditures and stable operational
expenditures, he told delegates at the 11th Coaltrans China
Conference in Beijing.
Australian producers have faced
challenges with labor costs, new taxes and an appreciating
Australian dollar, which have put upward pressure on capital
requirements and cash costs, Paladino said. And existing coal
regions in China are maturing, with production increasingly
moving toward the northwestern part of the country and deeper
underground, which makes logistics chains longer and more
The United States exported 59
million tonnes of metallurgical coal in 2012, up from 21
million tonnes in 2006, Paladino said, and this long-term
growth trend is expected to last into the next decade.
"While current market conditions
are challenging, long-term prospects for coal demand are
bright," he said, pointing to space for further growth in Asia.
The Chinese government has set a goal of doubling the
countrys gross domestic product by 2020, which would
imply at least 220 million tonnes of additional steel
consumption, he said, while world steel production is projected
to increase to 2 billion tonnes in 2020 and global
metallurgical coal imports to 518 million tonnes.
Arch Coal Asia-Pacific is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based
Arch Coal. Inc.
A version of
this article was first published by AMM sister publication