Coal Prices Rise Again

JAKARTA, APBI-ICMA: Coal prices have managed to continue strengthening at the end of the third consecutive trading day on Wednesday (11/28/2018).

Based on Bloomberg data, coal prices on the ICE Newcastle exchange for the most active contract in January 2019 closed up 1.36% or 1.35 points at the level of US $ 100.85 per metric ton, the highest closing level for the contract in more than a week.

Coal prices continue to strengthen after ending up 1.38% or 1.35 points at 99.50 on Tuesday (11/27).

On the ICE Rotterdam exchange, the price of coal for the most active contract in January 2019 also continued its gains on the third day ending up 0.18% or 0.15 points at the level of 85.05 yesterday.

Meanwhile, thermal coal prices for January 2019 shipments in the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange managed to rebound to the green zone by closing up 0.27% or 1.6 points at 602.6 yuan per metric ton on Wednesday, after ending a three-day decline in a row before.

"The outlook for demand depends on the ability of power plants to empty supplies in November and December," Nanhua Futures said in its research, as quoted by Bloomberg.

"Given the projections for higher than usual temperatures in December, it doesn't seem right to expect too much from the stock decline phase.

In contrast to coal, crude oil prices ended falling in trading Wednesday (28/11), following an unexpected increase in US crude oil inventories. This added to concerns about oversupply ahead of a meeting between major exporters of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price for January 2019 delivery fell around 2.5% or 1.27 points at the level of US $ 50.29 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.The Brent oil price for January 2019 delivery closed down 2.41% or 1.45 points at the level of US $ 58.76 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe London exchange.

Reporting from Bloomberg, oil prices fell following a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that domestic oil supplies rose for the 10th consecutive week, supported by rising imports.

EIA said that national crude stockpiles jumped 3.58 million barrels last week, well above the 1 million barrel increase predicted by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Meanwhile, market participants remained focused on the expected meeting at the G20 Summit in Argentina between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

OPEC and its allies are considering cutting production of 1 million barrels per day or more at next week's meeting in Vienna, in an effort to stabilize prices that have plunged more than 30 percent since October.

"Everyone is waiting for the OPEC meeting to determine the direction of prices and that will greatly depend on how big the cuts are," said Adam Wise, who manages a $ 9 billion oil and gas portfolio for John Hancock Financial Services Inc., as quoted by Bloomberg.

Saudi Arabia and Nigeria believe that OPEC and its partners will succeed in stabilizing prices, said energy minister Khalid Al-Falih and Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told reporters in Abuja.

Adding to the uncertainty sentiment, Putin said that the current Brent price of around US $ 60 per barrel was "really good" for his country. In fact, two weeks ago he said Russia was quite satisfied with the price level at US $ 70.