Experts eye robust growth for coal as price surges www.zgm.mn
Mongolia’s main export border checkpoint Tavantolgoi-Gashuunsukhait route auto road opened yesterday. Although transportation delay caused by road closure affected coal export volume; revenue resulted higher than the previous year’s mean time according to statistics. The Gashuunsukhait route auto road was in high risk of flood, creating crocodile cracking on the road due to heavy rain in July. Thus, coal transport was halted on August 2. Authorities informed that immediate actions have been taken to repair the road, successfully preventing further delays to coal transports. Regardless of delay created by the road fix, coal exporters minimized loss by transporting coal reserved at Tsagaan khad port. As of the first seven months of this year, Mongolia exported 20.5 million tons of raw coal worth USD 1.6 billion, which is USD 206.6 million higher than the same period of last year; however, the volume fell by 304,700 tons. In addition, commodity market is showing a sign of weakening.
Mongolia’s main export items, namely coal and iron ore, have maintained their growth, but copper and gold have plummeted due to the trade war between the U.S and People’s Republic of China. For instance, copper price sank USD 1000-1500 per metric ton and Gold fell by USD 100-150 per ounce since June. On the other hand, coal price grew by around 10 percent yearover-year (yoy), to USD 78.4 per ton and iron ore by nine percent. Several Chinese provinces have prepared a plan to reduce the capacity of steel and coal production, boosting the prices of iron ore and coal according to experts. In the first seven months of 2018, Mongolia exported 3.9 tons of iron ore, 20 percent growth yoy, worth USD 181 million. The fates of Mongolia’s coking coal and iron ore depend on Chinese steel market, which is directly connected to its construction and infrastructure. Chinese construction demand is visible from its new housing prices. According to Chinese statistics, housing price surged in 70 cities across the country, showing an average growth of five percent yoy.