U.S. coal prices are plunging from record highs as warm winter conditions ease demand for the fuel, dragging down many coal producing names including Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU), Consol Energy (NYSE:CEIX) and Warrior Met Coal (NYSE:HCC), -3.4%, -2.3% and -2.1% respectively in Monday’s trading.
Coal from Northern Appalachia region plummeted 45% last week to $115/ton, spot prices for coal from Central Appalachia sank plunged 33%, and fuel from the Illinois Basin plunged 31%, according to government figures released Monday.
Coal also is slipping in other regions, as the Australian benchmark price has slipped 6.6% since the start of the year, and the European benchmark has lost 4.2%.
“For now, it looks like the consensus is that coal prices will be lower,” said Rosalyn Berry, lead operations research analyst for the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s coal program.
Last week, China’s state planner allowed three government-backed utilities and its top steelmaker to resume importing coal from Australia.