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Colombia's coal output likely to hold steady in 2019

Coal News - Published on Mon, 18 Feb 2019

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Reuters reported that Colombia's coal production and exports are likely to remain steady this year, amid predictions international prices for the fuel will fall in 2019. The Andean nation is the world's fifth-largest exporter of coal. Overall Colombia production figures for last year are expected to be released sometime after Friday. Annual output in 2017 was down 1.2 percent from the year before, to 89.4 million tonnes. Q3 production in 2018 was 20.3 million tonnes, down 5.6 percent from the same period the year before.

Analyst Fitch Solutions reduced its Colombian coal production growth forecast from 4.5 percent to 0 percent in January, citing possible production stagnation due to price declines that disincentivize higher output. Thermal coal prices will fall to an average of $85 per tonne in 2019, from $101.4 per tonne last year, Fitch Solutions said in a note.

A company source told Reuters, Drummond Co Inc, the country's largest exporter of coal, expects to maintain production and exports levels in 2019. Output last year hovered around 31 million tonnes, while exports were 31.6 million tonnes. The company expects to produce between 31 million and 32 million tonnes this year.

The source said that Alabama-based Drummond's forecasts are not necessarily connected to price predictions.

Meanwhile Cerrejon, which operates an open pit mine in northern La Guajira province, will be working to avoid a repeat of production headaches from last year.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 18 Feb 2019
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