The dramatic rise in the international spot price of thermal coal over the past 12 months may have put a smile on the faces of a handful of chief executives of Australian and Indonesian coal exporters, but for importing nations including Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines, it risks putting a multibillion-dollar dent in current accounts.
Since the beginning of 2016, the price of internationally traded thermal coal, based on the Newcastle benchmark, has doubled from around US$50 a ton to just under $100 a ton now.
Vietnam faces huge additional bill
To take the case of Vietnam, as it stood in 2016, the country imported a net 12 million metric tons of coal, up 131% from just 5.2 million tons in 2015. Read More…