BlackRock sees limited downside to thermal coal prices

SYDNEY Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:58pm EDT

SYDNEY Oct 30 (Reuters) - About 100 million tonnes of U.S. thermal coal has been diverted to international markets due to low-priced natural gas replacing coal for power generation, BlackRock Inc, the world's largest money manager, said on Tuesday.

BlackRock said it sees limited downside to current thermal coal prices, but said the outlook for high-cost Australian producers was "challenging".

"If you look at Chinese imports of thermal coal, they are the highest ever, so it's not that we are seeing a demand issue, it's to do with that supply dynamic," Catherine Raw, co-manager of BlackRock's BGF World Mining Fund told a media conference call.

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