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Coal prices stay high in Asia as Australian industry consolidates

Spot prices up around 30% from this year's low as China seeks new supply

Reorganization in Australia's coal mining industry, alongside persistent demand from China, is putting upward pressure on coal prices.

TOKYO -- Prices of thermal coal used in electric power generation have been riding high in Asia, with spot prices for benchmark Australian coal recently quoted around $95 per ton -- 30% above the 2017 low set in May.

The trend largely reflects brisk imports by China. But concerns are emerging that consolidation of the small number of coal mining companies that dominate the industry in Australia, a major producing nation, will exacerbate it.

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