This is what happens when you get an artificial energy panic leading to draconian intervention to stabilise prices owing to politics: China’s daily coal output hit 11.7 million tonnes on November 3, close to the highest level this year, and output is expected to increase further as planned maintenance at coal mines gradually ends, the
Australian LNG has a long history of pioneering investment. From the North West shelf to the first floating LNG project ever constructed.
Like other Australian commodities this history aligns with that of development economics of Asia. The first wave of Australian LNG development grew to service a modernising Japan and its demand for energy. This bilateral relationship has a long history of cordial relations, share-equity investment and oil-linked contract pricing to satisfy both parties.
The second wave of Australian LNG was far more chaotic, matching the staggeringly swift rise of the much larger Chinese economy. It began along with the pre-GFC oil boom and Malthusian assumption that the world was going to fall short of everything as the enormous Chinese and then Indian middle classes ballooned and consumed more energy per capita.
Multitudinous LNG projects were sanctioned in Australia which found itself by 2010 developing no fewer than seven LNG project simultaneously. Needless to say this did not end well with gigantic cost blowouts for all as they competed for labour and other resources.
Yet, as the commodity super cycle peaked in 2011, demand suddenly fell well short of expectations and kept doing so over the next four years. Making matters worse, the US shale revolution suddenly turned that nation from net LNG importer to net exporter of a magnitude equal to Australian LNG. The global glut from 2015 was enormous.
The Australian LNG boom included a particularly cavalier offshoot in QLD where coal seam gas was liquefied via three projects on Curtis Island. As the boom subsided, and oil-linked prices crashed, the companies involved were all either sold or destroyed.
The legacy left by the projects was one of very high Australian gas prices with very low Asian gas prices, also delivering an huge blow to the competitiveness of the east coast economy. Thus the $200bn investment proved to be the greatest single capital mis-allocation in the history of the Australian economy (and surely global energy markets) and was little more than a monument to Banana Republic economics as tax takes failed, income fell and hollowing out transpired on raised local costs.
MacroBusiness was the only analytic house to call the Australian LNG bubble early, track it and predict its demise. It continues to cover the LNG sector with daily updates and a large grain skepticism and is a must read for anyone that needs to know the economic forces coming to bear on the sector.
This says it all about Australia at COP26: Is Australia even there? Or is it Santos with a national fag hag attached. There’s more here if you want to heave. Notice the finely crafted aboriginal motifs, the serene and clean ocean blue, the endorsement for CCS that doesn’t exist. This is why Scott Morrison attended
The global energy volatility machine rolled on yesterday. In China, the NDRC surprised the market and me by removing the jackboot: Traders took cue from a meeting earlier on Wednesday as the country’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, told miners and power plants at a web-based conference that prices should not
Not a lot of news for energy prices today but prices kept falling for thermal coal yesterday and markets are now pricing my sub-$100 target for 2022: However, seaborne coking coal is still sticky. I expect it will crash in due course as Chinese EAF output is restored: Global gas prices lifted yesterday on no
What a week for energy markets. These are the most crucial input prices of the global economy and they have become as volatile as crypto. The real economic implications of that do not bear thinking about. China continued to annihilate its twin coal bubbles last week. Coking coal was limit down again though stabilised Friday
The irony of it all. Back in the early 2000s Australia (and the world) had a plan for decarbonisation that made a lot of sense. It was that coal-fired power would be phased out in favour of gas which would act as the “transitional fuel” as renewables ratcheted down in price. Australia was superbly placed
The breathtaking adjustment in Chinese energy has continued with thermal coal thumped again yesterday: We’re going back to $100 and below next year, in my view. Coking coal finally caught a bid but how long that lasts is anybody’s guess. It is still massively oversupplied with big falls still in the offing: Moreover, JKM futures
The Chinese energy bubble continued to burst yesterday as coking coal futures were put to the sword again: Given the collapse in Chinese steel output, this was the craziest of the energy bubbles. Really, the only reason for its bid was some possible switching from thermal to coking coal in power consumption but that was
The Chinese energy crisis is cooked. Put a fork in it: On Friday, the NDRC said it held a meeting with large state-run companies including oil refiner Sinopec, aluminium giant Chinalco and steelmaker China Baowu on “rational” energy usage by industry on Thursday and said they should take the lead in energy-saving and carbon reduction.
I have been wondering why it has taken China so long to get to this. It worked very well for iron ore: China’s top economic planner is studying ways to intervene in the coal market as the government tries to rein in rising prices and curtail shortfalls that are threatening energy security and economic growth.
The end of the global energy crisis is in sight. But we are not there yet and it will take the rest of the year to resolve. China is both driver: And solution: Chinese premier stresses power, coal supply – Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for market-oriented approaches and reform measures to safeguard
Energy futures have calmed a little in the past 48 hours. LNG: Thermal coal: But the damage is being done. John Kemp leads us off: Europe’s gas and electricity prices are setting record highs on a daily basis and rising at an accelerating rate as the market tries to destroy enough demand to protect depleted inventories ahead of the
Ah Europe. The cheese-eating surrender monkeys of geopolitics. It means well but without any kind of force projection is completely useless. Witness Vladimir Putin now running rings around it on energy: “Let’s think through possibly increasing supply in the market, only we need to do it carefully. Settle with Gazprom and talk it over,” Putin
Nordea with the note: They say that god created economists to make the meteorologists look good, which we basically concur with, but it probably hasn’t ever been of a bigger relevance to combine weather- and economic forecasting than just now. The current extreme energy crunch is clearly weather-linked and even the Green Eurocrats probably hope for an
Some folks never learn. COVID disruptions to both supply and demand have blown rolling bubbles and busts through commodities including lumber, iron ore, precious metals, and foodstuffs. Base metals are still inflated though beginning to struggle. The new bubble is energy. Each time the formula is the same. Temporary virus distortions boost demand. Temporary supply
There have been a lot of articles pointing to the Chinese ban on Australian coal imports as the cause of the global energy shock. This was partly the case earlier in 2021. But Australian coal has been going out roughly as normal more recently, just to other markets. The key driver is, in fact, choked
For thermal coal, it’s going to be a glorious winter and a poor spring, Yuan Talks: Several regions in China are in the grip of a power crunch partly caused by short coal supplies and surging coal prices. Industry insiders say that policymakers’ efforts in boosting coal production in the past few months have so
The Chinese economy is shutting down. Yuan Talks: China’s ongoing energy use restrictions and power crunch are hurting industrial production across several regions and dragging on the country’s economic growth, analysts say. The current round of power shortage is mainly due to the country’s so-called “dual energy control”, referring to the country’s efforts to cut
When will China relent on its economic reform program around property developers? When will it stimulate? My answers are not yet and don’t hold your breath. Why? Let me show you two charts. The first nicely captures the extreme bullshit being peddled by Wall Street about a new commodities supercycle. Note that the trigger is
Thermal coal and LNG futures both came off overnight. The former: The latter: Oil was still strong as we await the return of hurricane shuttered US production: Beijing continues its campaign to reduce power output. After steel cuts, which have curtailed a lot of EAF production, next is cement: Several Chinese regions have imposed restrictions
It’s wondrous what can pass as rational if you have no memory. Decontextualised information can be made to sound…sound…even though it is completely bonkers. Take this from the poisonous Australian: Special payments will be needed to keep ageing coal-fired and gas power stations in business to avoid future spikes in electricity prices, under a national
Via the ACCC: This is the July 2021 interim report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) inquiry into gas supply in Australia (the Inquiry). Gas prices in the east coast gas market through to February 2021 remained low. However, domestic spot and LNG prices have since risen considerably, and the supply outlook for