Tag: shipping

CRU: Baltimore bridge collapse affects more than half of US thermal coal exports

A container ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26, causing it to collapse. This has blocked sea lanes into and out of Baltimore port, which is the largest source of US seaborne thermal coal exports. The port usually exports 1–1.5 million metric tons (mt) of thermal coal per month. It is uncertain when sea shipping will be restored. But it could be several weeks or more. There are coal export terminals in Virginia, though diversion to these ports would raise costs.

Final thoughts

SMU’s sheet prices firmed up modestly this week, even as CME hot rolled futures declined. What gives? My channel checks suggest that demand remains stable and that buyers have returned to the market following new HR base prices announced by mills earlier this month. I’m looking forward to seeing whether lead times, which have stabilized, will start extending. SMU will have more to share on that front when we release updated lead time figures on Thursday. As for HR futures, what a reversal! As David Feldstein wrote last Thursday, bulls expected mill price increase announcements. And we briefly saw the May contract climb as high as ~$1,000 per short ton (st).