The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price is a rare bright spot on a tough day for ASX shares.
Shares in the Aussie coal miner have jumped 4.4% higher at the time of writing to $2.87 per share while the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has edged 0.2% lower.
Why the Whitehaven share price is lifting on Tuesday
Whitehaven is actually one of the biggest gainers in the ASX 200 this morning. That’s despite no news from the Aussie coal miner to start the day.
However, as always with resources shares, movements in underlying commodity prices could provide some insight. Coking coal prices have been tearing higher in recent weeks and continued to make strong gains overnight.
According to data from S&P Global Platts, cited in the Australian Financial Review, premium hard coking coal from Queensland sold for US$379 per tonne on Friday, setting a new record price.
That underlying strength in coal prices has helped boost the Whitehaven share price higher on Tuesday morning. The Aussie coal miner has been making strong gains today even as many ASX 200 shares experience a second straight day in the red.
According to Trading Economics data, coal prices are now trading at a new 10-year high having climbed 238.42% in the past year.
The Whitehaven share price has reflected those commodity price gains over that same period. Shares in the Aussie coal miner are up nearly 200% in the last 12 months. That means the company now boasts a $2.9 billion market capitalisation.
It represents a huge turnaround in fortunes from early September 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic crimped demand for energy, Whitehaven shares were changing hands for as little as $0.85 per share.
The Whitehaven share price is climbing higher on Tuesday even as many other ASX 200 shares are in the red. Strong coal prices are persisting and helping support the company’s current valuation in 2021.