Glencore unperturbed by hostility to coal as price rises 21% in a year – by David McKay ( – September 3, 2018)

THE condemnation of companies with significant exposure to fossil fuels is steadily growing with banks, institutional investors, and even the companies engaged in coal mining, for instance, beginning to turn their backs on a fuel that once stoked the fires of enrichment.

Not so for Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore. His company may be facing a potential US Department of Justice investigation for business activities in districts as far apart as Venezuela and Nigeria, relating to another fuel, oil, but Glencore’s eye remains fixed on thermal coal. Why? It makes good money and right now, it makes lots of it especially as even European coal prices hit $100/t – the highest since 2013.

At $115/t currently, the price of thermal coal is 21% higher year-on-year. Metallurgical coal prices 11% lower year-on-year but are still at about $180/t.

Glencore received a 24% increase in the average price for its exported South African coal production in the six months ended June 30 with the fuel coming in at $98/t compared to $79/t in the period of the previous financial year.

The higher price took adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the South African thermal coal division to $322m compared to $253m in the prior period.

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