Chinese coal ban puts pressure on Yancoal

Yancoal has been affected by restrictions to Australian thermal coal deliveries into China during the June quarter, resulting in lower sales for the period.

China, as well as Japan and Korea, is a key market for Yancoal’s thermal coal.

Yancoal did not disclose any sales figures for the countries, but stated that none of them represented more than 22 per cent of its total sales volume.

The company’s year-to-date attributable sales are ahead of 2018 (up nine per cent), however, it absorbed a four per cent decrease in thermal sales volumes against the previous quarter.

Though index price volatility seems likely to persist, Yancoal is confident that market fundamentals will remain positive in the longer term.

“Market conditions affected the realised price we were able to achieve in the second quarter, but the team continues to secure offtake for the saleable product,” Yancoal chief executive Reinhold Schmidt said.

“At the halfway point for the year, Yancoal remains on target for the 2019 operational goals. The annualised attributable saleable coal volume is 35.6 million tonnes compared to the target of about 35 million tonnes.”

The metallurgical coal market has remained relatively stable, with very little change in prices between the two quarters, according to Yancoal in its June quarterly report.

Yancoal has also kept its 2019 guidance unchanged, amid registering higher saleable coal production in the June quarter.

The company reported a six per cent increase on the prior quarter, totalling 13.4 million tonnes despite a downward performance at several of its sites.

Yancoal’s production at Mount Thorley Warkworth (New South Wales), Yarrabee (Queensland) and the three mines (New South Wales) it is managing on behalf of Watagan Mining Company all went down on the prior quarter.

The Moolarben coal complex had another “outstanding” quarter, producing 4.8 million tonnes of saleable coal as the open cut and underground both performed above the budgeted rates.

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