Why are some ASX coal shares flaming out today?

It’s been a tough day so far for Yancoal and New Hope Corporation.

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Key points

  • ASX coal shares Yancoal and New Hope are in the red today  
  • ANU researchers predicted a bleak future for coal exports 
  • Yancoal released quarterly results showing a 13% drop in coal production 

Multiple ASX coal shares are struggling today. Three ASX coal shares are Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC), Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX: YAL) and New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX: NHC).

Yancoal is 4.7% in the red today while New Hope is descending 2.3%. Meanwhile, Whitehaven Coal is climbing 0.73% For perspective, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is up 0.4% today.

Let’s take a look at what might be impacting ASX coal shares today.

Coal export outlook ‘bleak’

Australian National University researchers published a study today predicting a “bleak” outlook for coal exports from Australia.

Modelling by the researchers found China thermal imports could fall by at least 26%, from 210 megaton to 155 megaton annually between 2019 and 2025.

Commenting on the report, lead author Dr Jorrit Gosens said:

Our findings are clear: Beijing’s plans for rapid decarbonisation and energy security signal the end for Australia’s current coal export boom.

And this isn’t going to happen far off into the future; it is imminent.

Fund manager Alex Turnbull and ANU climate change economics professor Frank Jotzo were also co-authors on the report.

Meanwhile, Yancoal released quarterly results to the market after close yesterday.

Total saleable coal production fell 13% on the previous quarter to 8.1 million tonnes (Mt). Sales volume also fell 21% to 7.8 Mt. However, the average realised price of coal surged 23% to $258 per tonne. Yancoal attributed this fall in production to the impact of COVID-19 on labour.

Commenting on the coal prices, CEO David Moult said:

Our average realised coal price for 1Q 2022 comprised a thermal coal average realised price of A$243/tonne and a metallurgical coal average realised price of A$349/tonne; both were close to three times the prices achieved just 12 months ago.

Share price summary

The Whitehaven share price has surged 233% in a year, while Yancoal has risen 121%. Meanwhile, New Hope shares have rocketed 164%.

In contrast, the benchmark ASX 200 has increased about 8% in the past year.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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