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Market Structure Scenarios in International Steam Coal Trade

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  • Johannes Truby and Moritz Paulus

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

Volume (Year): Volume 33 (2012)
Issue (Month): Number 3 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:33-3-04

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Cited by:
  1. Paulus, Moritz, 2012. "How are investment decisions in the steam coal market affected by demand uncertainty and buyer-side market power?," EWI Working Papers 2012-3, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
  2. Huppmann, Daniel, 2013. "Endogenous shifts in OPEC market power - A Stackelberg oligopoly with fringe," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79758, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Trüby, Johannes, 2013. "Strategic behaviour in international metallurgical coal markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 147-157.
  4. Paulus, Moritz & Trueby, Johannes & Growitsch, Christian, 2011. "Nations as Strategic Players in Global Commodity Markets: Evidence from World Coal Trade," EWI Working Papers 2011-4, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
  5. Haftendorn, C. & Kemfert, C. & Holz, F., 2012. "What about coal? Interactions between climate policies and the global steam coal market until 2030," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 274-283.

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