Contracts for high quality metallurgical coal for delivery in the September quarter of 2013 settled at around $145/mt FOB Australia, the lowest contract settlement since 2009.

China and India are set to become the biggest importers of thermal coal from Australia before the end of the decade, replacing Japan as the top destination and underscoring the growing energy needs of the two countries. Australia’s thermal coal exports are projected to rise to 271 million mt in 2018 supported by growing exports to China first and then India.