Low supply is helping support US thermal coal export prices, as extra tons remains hard to come by, market sources said Friday. “I know of only one [Illinois Basin] cargo for sale in Q4, and if you want to buy it, you have to buy some Cal 19 tons, too,” said a US-based source. US producers remain cautious with production, stuck between fear of a downturn and the more tangible squeeze of a lack of capital. In other words, if producers wanted to bring on additional production to meet demand, few banks would be willing to lend for thermal coal projects. In addition, transportation delays in terms of rail and terminal capacity that are pushing up demurrage costs, as well as higher rates being charged by rail and barge carriers newly aware of export demand, are putting a lid on more exports. “The biggest story I’m aware of is […]