Wednesday, January 05, 2011

What Do Australia's Floods and Steel Prices and Alaskan Coal Have in Common? Plenty

The region in northern Australia submerged in recent flooding is the site of almost 60 per cent of the coking coal used by steelmakers around the world.  Currently 75% of those Australian mines are flooded and they're likely to stay that way for months after the waters abate.

The disruption of Australian coal will drive up the price of steel even in distant Germany.  It has also helped boost the global price of coal.   That, in turn, has coal producers busy with development plans in Alaska which holds half of America's coal reserves.  Several Alaskan villages have complained they feel at risk from strip mining proposals.

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