Thermal coal prices, supplied to Northwest Europe, went up by 50% from lows and reached $55.77 per ton in May.
The last time similar prices were observed in Europe at the end of October 2019.
In Europe, coal prices are currently higher than in Australia, where prices have been pressured by reports that China has limited imports amid diplomatic disagreements with Canberra. This is an atypical situation, The Wall Street Journal writes.
The rally in Europe has made the region a bright spot in the international coal market. Prices have collapsed across the board this spring due to restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, which have led to a drop in electricity demand, and remain under pressure in the Asia-Pacific region (APR). Considering coking coal, which is used to make steel, global consumption could decline by 7% in 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported this week.
European governments are cutting coal consumption faster than other countries amid efforts to cut emissions. The recent rise in prices shows that the decline in consumption will stop and demand will periodically rise again, even as the transition to clean energy is accelerating, analysts say.