The company also confirmed they would be introducing “greater automation of underground mining equipment” at North Goonyella mine near Moranbah, to increase productivity.
In announcing their results from the last quarter yesterday Peabody Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce said, “While the current seaborne markets are still experiencing supply pressures, coal remains in strong demand and now accounts for its largest share of global energy use in more than 40 years,”
“The world continues to turn to coal as a competitive fuel source, and ongoing urbanisation and industrialisation trends are expected to drive long-term global coal demand growth.”
The company claims that:
Australian thermal and metallurgical coal exports rose 8 percent and 12 percent, respectively, offsetting a modest decline in Indonesian thermal coal exports and a 16 percent reduction in U.S. exports. Global seaborne markets have remained oversupplied, although production cutbacks are expected to take further hold in the second half of the year.
(Operational initiatives will be focused on) Optimising the benefits from the fully commissioned longwall top coal caving system at the North Goonyella Mine, including greater automation of underground equipment and increased yields;
China’s coal generation rose 5 percent through June, and economic expansion increased as the government’s stimulus measures gained traction. Metallurgical coal imports declined 17 percent in the first five months of the year as steel production growth has been muted. Accelerating economic growth and additional targeted stimulus are expected to translate into improved steel production and metallurgical coal import demand in the second half of the year..
India’s coal generation rose 12 percent and metallurgical coal imports increased 26 percent through June. Coal stockpiles are at extremely low levels of only one week at nearly half of the country’s coal plants as a result of reduced hydro generation, domestic production shortages and a 6 percent decline in thermal coal imports. The new prime minister has stated his intention to emphasise economic growth and increase coal imports as pro-development policies are implemented.
Japan’s coal generation increased 9 percent through May as coal holds a compelling economic advantage over imported natural gas and nuclear generation remains shuttered. Coal’s share of Japan’s total electricity generation has increased from 27 percent in 2011 to approximately 35 percent year-to-date through May.
Peabody went on to say, “By 2016, annual global coal demand is expected to rise 600 million tonnes. Peabody estimates that approximately 250 gigawatts of new coal-fueled generation will be built over the next three years, requiring an additional 750 million tonnes of annual thermal coal at expected capacity utilisation.
“Over this same period, China and India coal imports are expected to grow 100 million tonnes, and ongoing urbanization and industrialization is projected to drive a 10 to 15 percent increase in seaborne metallurgical coal demand.”
The company targets 2014 Australian sales of 35 to 37 million tons, including 16 to 17 million tons of metallurgical coal and 11 to 12 million tons of export thermal coal.