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Whitehaven Coal: Assessing its claims about its long-term outlook

October 06, 2023
Simon Nicholas
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Key Findings

Coal imports to Whitehaven’s three largest export destinations (Japan, Taiwan and South Korea) are going into decline, according to the Australian government.

Emerging economies such as India and Vietnam don’t import the high-calorific value coal Whitehaven produces and likely never will.

No nation is relying on a switch to high-calorific value coal to reduce its carbon emissions.

The long-term outlook for metallurgical coal is starting to change now that the steel technology transition is accelerating.

Executive Summary

Despite increasing acceptance within Australia that the outlook for the seaborne thermal coal market is one of declining demand and dwindling volumes in the long term, Whitehaven Coal continues to maintain that future demand for its product is strong.

This report examines what Whitehaven has stated about its outlook in its recent disclosures – its 2023 Annual Report and Sustainability Report, its recent FY23 Full-Year Results presentation and 2022 AGM. We consider that certain statements made by the company about the demand outlook for its product are at risk of not being fulfilled given what is happening with the Asian seaborne coal market.

Quotes from Whitehaven's annual report in an infographic depicting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan


Simon Nicholas

Simon Nicholas is IEEFA’s Lead Analyst for the global steel sector, as well as Asian seaborne thermal and coking coal markets.

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