BHP cuts Australian met coal sales guidance again

  • Spanish Market: Coking coal
  • 18/04/24

Australian mining firm BHP has cut its coking coal guidance for the 2023-24 fiscal year to 30 June to a new decade-low of 43mn-45mn t because of the impact of wet weather and cyclones on its Queensland operations.

The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), which is 50pc owned by BHP and 50pc by Japanese trading house Mitsubishi, had already cut its guidance by 18pc in January to 46mn-50mn t of metallurgical coal for 2023-24, down from the previous guidance of 56mn-62mn t issued in July. At that time it cited the impact of the sale of the Blackwater and Daunia coking and thermal coal mines in Queensland to Australian independent Whitehaven, which it completed on 2 April, maintenance, a fatality at its 10mn t/yr Saraji mine and increased removal of waste.

The latest downgrade was blamed again on the Saraji incident, as well as on wet cyclonic weather in Queensland and an inventory rebuild after the impact of flooding and labour shortages in 2022 and 2023. The inventory rebuild will continue into calendar year 2025, which could further weigh on sales into 2024-25.

The further reduction in expected sales volumes led BHP to increase its cost guidance for 2023-24 to $119-125/t from $110-116/t in January and from $95-105/t in June.

BHP received an average price of $274.99/t for hard coking coal and $204.55/t for weak coking coal during July-December, up from $242.52/t and $190.74/t for January-June and $270.65/t and $252.12/t in July-December 2022. It defines hard coking coal as those with a coke strength after reaction (CSR) of 35 and above, with weak coking coal being those with a CSR of below 35.

Argus last assessed the premium hard low-volatile metallurgical coal price at $249/t fob Australia on 17 March, down from $336.50/t on 17 January.

BHP metallurgical coal sales (mn t)
Jan-Mar '24Oct-Dec '23Jan-Mar '23Jul-Mar '23-24July-Mar '22-23
Coking coal5.414.765.3714.6616.86
Weak coking coal0.930.750.712.212.04
Thermal coal0.020.200.100.520.80
Total BMA6.365.716.1917.3919.70
Total BMA (100%)12.7211.4112.3734.7839.39

Australian metallurgical coal prices ($/t)

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23/05/24

Anglo American rejects BHP’s third takeover proposal

Anglo American rejects BHP’s third takeover proposal

Singapore, 23 May (Argus) — UK-South African mining firm Anglo American has rejected a third £38.6bn ($49.1bn) takeover proposal from Australian resources firm BHP, although it gave it until 29 May to make a firm offer. BHP's latest offer represents a total value of around £31.11 per Anglo American ordinary share, including £5.40 in Anglo Platinum shares and £4.23 in Kumba shares, BHP said on 22 May. The takeover proposal also came with the same requirement for Anglo American to complete two separate demergers of its entire shareholdings in Anglo American Platinum and Kumba Iron Ore, its assets in South Africa, to Anglo American shareholders. Anglo American "continues to believe that there are serious concerns with the structure, given that it is likely to result in material completion risk and value impact that disproportionately falls on Anglo American's shareholders", its board of directors said. The complex process proposed by BHP is likely to take at least 18 months to complete and involves significant execution and completion risks, it added. Anglo American said it remains confident in its standalone prospects and believes it had "set out a clear pathway to deliver the acceleration of its strategy detailed on 14 May 2024". It was likely referring to its plans to exit its coal, platinum, nickel and diamond businesses , shortly after rejecting BHP's second £34bn offer on 14 May because it "continues to significantly undervalue Anglo American and its future prospects". Anglo American also rejected BHP's first £31bn all-share offer in April for the same reason. By Tng Yong Li Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

India's JSW Steel to buy coking coal firm in Mozambique


20/05/24
20/05/24

India's JSW Steel to buy coking coal firm in Mozambique

Singapore, 20 May (Argus) — India's JSW Steel will buy a coking coal company in Mozambique to secure supply of the key steelmaking raw material and shield against any volatility in prices. JSW Steel's board of directors approved the acquisition of coal mining firm Minas de Revuboe (MDR) for about $74mn. The purchase of a 92pc stake in MDR gives JSW access to more than 800mn t of premium hard coking coal reserves in Mozambique, the steel producer said on 17 May. MDR's mine is not yet operational but the company aims to start developing the mine in the 2024-25 fiscal year. "This is not only going to provide us some cushioning with respect to the highly volatile [premium low-volatile (PLV)] index," said JSW Steel's chief executive officer Jayant Acharya. "It also is logistically closer to India, and therefore, will give us an optimised cost." Fluctuations in prices of high-quality seaborne coking coal have been a concern for Indian steelmakers, as they work to ramp up production in anticipation of rising demand from the infrastructure and automobile sectors. The Argus -assessed Australian PLV hard coking coal price crossed $600/t in March 2022, following the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It was at $237/t on 17 May, a decline of $8/t from the start of this month, owing to ample supplies and thin buying interest. JSW Steel's fourth-quarter profit fell by 64pc to 12.99bn rupees ($156mn) because of higher coking coal costs. Crude steel production in the quarter rose by 3pc on the year to 6.79mn t, while sales totalled 6.73mn t, also registering a growth of 3pc from last year. The company also expects capital expenditure at 200bn rupees ($2.4bln) in the 2024-25 fiscal year, as it adds to its steelmaking capacity. JSW Steel is targeting a production capacity of 50mn t/yr by the 2030-31 fiscal year. The company expects steel demand to pick up in the coming year, citing the government's infrastructure push and robust economic growth in India. By Amruta Khandekar Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Anglo American to exit from coal, Ni, platinum: Update


14/05/24
14/05/24

Anglo American to exit from coal, Ni, platinum: Update

Adds details of Anglo American's latest plan to demerge or sell its assets Singapore, 14 May (Argus) — UK-South African mining firm Anglo American has announced plans to exit its coal, platinum, nickel and diamond businesses, shortly after rejecting Australian resources firm BHP's latest takeover bid. Anglo American wants to sell its coking coal business in Australia, which includes the 6.5mn t/yr Moranbah and 5mn t/yr Grosvenor mines in Queensland. The firm also plans to demerge Anglo American Platinum, as well as sell or demerge its De Beers diamond business, it said on 14 May. Anglo American will also slow investment in its Woodsmith polyhalite fertilizer project in the UK, where it was previously targeting first commercial output in 2027 . It is also exploring options for care and maintenance as well as divestment of its nickel assets in Brazil. The move to "accelerate the delivery of consistently stronger shareholder returns" with the latest plan comes on the back of a takeover bid by BHP. Anglo American turned down a revised £34bn ($42.7bn) takeover proposal from BHP on 13 May because it "continues to significantly undervalue Anglo American and its future prospects". It earlier rejected BHP's £31bn all-share offer for the same reason. "The latest proposal from BHP again fails to recognise the value inherent in Anglo American," Anglo American chairman Stuart Chambers said on 13 May. Anglo American shareholders are well positioned to benefit from increasing demand from "future-enabling products", Chambers added. Copper was the second-highest contributor to Anglo American's earnings last year, accounting for 32pc of its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, after iron ore. BHP's latest offer represents a total value of around £27.53 per Anglo American ordinary share, including £4.86 in Anglo Platinum shares and £3.40 in Kumba shares, BHP said on 13 May. The takeover proposal came with a requirement for Anglo American to complete two separate demergers of its entire shareholdings in Anglo American Platinum and Kumba Iron Ore — its assets in South Africa — to Anglo American shareholders. "This leaves Anglo American, its shareholders and stakeholders disproportionately at risk from the substantial uncertainty and execution risk created by the proposed inter-conditional execution of two demergers and a takeover," Anglo American said. By Reena Nathan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Anglo American rejects BHP’s revised takeover proposal


14/05/24
14/05/24

Anglo American rejects BHP’s revised takeover proposal

Singapore, 14 May (Argus) — UK-South African mining firm Anglo American has rejected a revised £34bn ($42.7bn) takeover proposal from Australian resources firm BHP because it "continues to significantly undervalue Anglo American and its future prospects". Anglo American earlier rejected BHP's £31bn all-share offer for the same reason. "The latest proposal from BHP again fails to recognise the value inherent in Anglo American," Anglo American chairman Stuart Chambers said on 13 May. Anglo American shareholders are well positioned to benefit from increasing demand from "future-enabling products", Chambers added. Copper was the second-highest contributor to Anglo American last year, accounting for 32pc of its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. BHP's latest offer represents a total value of around £27.53 per Anglo American ordinary share, including £4.86 in Anglo Platinum shares and £3.40 in Kumba shares, BHP said on 13 May. The takeover proposal came with a requirement for Anglo American to complete two separate demergers of its entire shareholdings in Anglo American Platinum and Kumba Iron Ore — its assets in South Africa — to Anglo American shareholders. "This leaves Anglo American, its shareholders and stakeholders disproportionately at risk from the substantial uncertainty and execution risk created by the proposed inter-conditional execution of two demergers and a takeover," Anglo American said. By Reena Nathan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US met coal suppliers expect belated supply tensions


03/05/24
03/05/24

US met coal suppliers expect belated supply tensions

London, 3 May (Argus) — US coking coal prices have so far brushed off any impact of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore on 26 March and the subsequent disruption of vessel traffic via the Port of Baltimore. Suppliers such as Arch Resources and Blackhawk that utilise the Baltimore shipping route have sought effective alternative arrangements so far and buyers have been largely comfortable despite some delays in laycans. Other suppliers such as Northern Appalachia's largest producer, Consol Energy's Bailey mine , which is a key supplier to Atlantic end-users, have faced more challenges, market participants suggest. The decline in fob Australia coal prices from last year's highs amid improved supply availability has also weighed on prices. The Argus assessed premium low-volatile coking coal fob Australia price was at $242.80/t on 3 May, largely unchanged from $254/t on 26 March after reaching a low of $224/t on 8 April. The US east coast prices have followed a similar trajectory, with low-volatile fob US east coast at $215/t today down from $220/t on 26 March after falling to a low in April. Low European demand has been one of the reasons behind the tepid response to coking coal shipment delays from the US. But with expectations of at least some recovery in the second half of 2024 and still no firm date on when the Baltimore traffic will return to normal, some US suppliers suggest coking coal prices may face some upward pressure later this year. Luxembourg-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal has kept its apparent steel demand outlook in Europe unchanged for 2024, expecting a growth of 2-4pc on the year . European steel association Eurofer downgraded its apparent steel consumption outlook for 2024 again , to 3.2pc from a previous forecast of 5.6pc, owing to worsening geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainty, energy prices, inflation and higher interest rates. But this would still be an improvement from a 9pc fall in steel consumption in 2023. There is also optimism among US coal suppliers that Brazil may be a source of renewed demand in the coming months with domestic steel production expected to improve. The Brazilian government is due to increase taxes for some imported steel products after facing pressure from the domestic steel industry to apply tariffs on imports, in particular on Chinese steel. Taxes will be increased to 25pc on 11 steel products — mainly flat rolled — contingent on such import levels exceeding prescribed quotas, the trade ministry's committee on foreign commerce, Gecex/Camex, said. Brazil's crude steel output reached 31.9mn t in 2023, down by 6.5pc on the year, World Steel Association data show. In the US, the fall in seaborne met coal prices also points to potential consolidation in the sector and the possibility of supplies tightening down the road. Industry participants highlight that some of the small and mid-sized mining operations that have emerged in the past two years amid a strong price environment are struggling. Bens Creek Group, which operates the Bens Creek Mining project in West Virigina with around 30,000-35,000st (27,200-31,800t) per month of coking coal output, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. The year-to-date average price of high-volatile A for 2024 stands at $242.62/t fob Hampton Roads and is estimated to be above production costs for some of these mines. In 2022, high-volatile A prices averaged $347.81/t fob Hampton Roads, driven by a combination of market concerns over the Russia-Ukraine conflict and supply disruptions in Australia. While Russian coking coal remains available and competitively priced in the market, in particular a key supply source for China, US sanctions will continue to put pressure on major coal importers such as India and South Korea to reduce their Russian imports. The US announced fresh sanctions against Russian coal producer Sibanthracite's group of companies earlier this week. By Siew Hua Seah Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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