Coal prices have fallen by 6% since the start of 2013 and are down by 35% over the past two years. According to Bloomberg, 2014 forward prices are also trading near $90 per tonne. If prices continue to trade at this level many coal miners from as far away as Russia, US or Australia would be selling coal at a loss.
Prices are unlikely to go much lower. According to Deutsche Bank, higher US natural gas prices mean US exports of coal are likely to fall to 35Mt in 2013, down from 46Mt in 2012. Meanwhile, coal mines in Poland and Russia (some of the higher cost producers) are expected to pencil in output cuts this year.
The coal price could have implications for the generation mix in Europe and resulting levels of carbon emissions. German and other European utilities are currently burning record amounts of coal, having switching from gas to coal as prices fell, but resulting in twice as much pollution.