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European Coal Prices Fall Below $100 for First Time Since 2021



May 18, 2023 - European coal fell below $100 a ton to the lowest in almost two years as a drop in power demand and gas prices curbed use of the dirtier fuel.

Power plants have been favoring gas over coal, with strong imports of liquefied natural gas boosting stockpiles and improving the region’s energy-security outlook. It’s a major change from last year, when Germany burned coal at the fastest pace in at least six years after Russia cut piped gas flows to Europe.

While renewable sources such as wind and solar are set to take a greater share of Europe’s power market this year, gas remains a major fuel for round-the-clock generation as nations such as Germany and Belgium close nuclear plants.

Month-ahead coal for import to Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp fell as much as 6.8% to $98 a ton on Tuesday. That compares with a record $459.80 set early last year.