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Modeling and Analysis of the International Steam Coal Trade

Clemens Haftendorn and Franziska Holz

Year: 2010
Volume: Volume 31
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol31-No4-10
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Abstract:
Coal continues to play an important role in the global energy sector and with the increase in international trade a global market for steam coal has de�veloped. We investigate market structure and recent price developments with a numerical modeling approach and develop two partial equilibrium models, a quantity based model and a model additionally incorporating energy values. We compare two possible market structure scenarios for the years 2005 and 2006: perfect competition and Cournot competition. Our chief finding is that, for both models, the simulation of perfect competition better fits the observed real market flows and prices. However, we also note that spatial price discrimination and a time lag in the pricing-in of capacity constraints are additional mechanisms in the market. From a modeling perspective, relying only on coal quantities leads to distortions in estimated trade flows, suggesting that an energy-based model is superior.



Market Structure Scenarios in International Steam Coal Trade

Johannes Truby and Moritz Paulus

Year: 2012
Volume: Volume 33
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.33.3.4
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Abstract:
The seaborne steam coal market has changed in recent years; demand has grown fast, important players have emerged, and since 2007 prices have increased significantly and remained relatively high. In this paper, we analyze steam coal market equilibria in the years 2006 and 2008 by testing for two possible market structure scenarios: perfect competition and an oligopoly setup with major exporters competing in quantities. The assumed oligopoly scenario cannot explain market equilibria for any year. While we find that the competitive model simulates market equilibria well in 2006, the competitive model is yet not able to reproduce real market outcomes in 2008. The analysis shows that not all available supply capacity was utilized in 2008. We conclude that either unknown capacity bottlenecks or more sophisticated non-competitive strategies were the cause for the high prices in 2008. Keywords: Steam coal trade, Mining costs, Market structure





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