Australia’s Coal Giants Seek to Shed Port Assets

The Wall Street Journal’s Asia MoneyBeat reported that major coal miners operating in Australia — like Glencore Xstrata plc (LSE:GLEN) and Yancoal Australia Ltd. (ASX:YAL) — are eager to auction off port assets worth “tens of millions of dollars” that were hot assets only a year and a half ago. That indicates that they are not confident that coal prices will rebound in the near future.

As quoted in the market news:

‘We have a situation where we have substantial growth in [Australian] port capacity, and not the tonnage to fill it,’ said Brent Spalding, a coal analyst at U.K.-based consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

In the latest example, Glencore Xstrata said Monday it wants to sell nearly half of its annual allocation of 10.9 million metric tons at the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal in Queensland state. The port is due to start operating in early 2015.

‘Due to changed market circumstances, we now expect five million tons per annum of this capacity may not be required in the near term,’ the Switzerland-based company said.

Click here to read the full MoneyBeat report.