You may not want to find it in your Christmas stocking, but coal is fetching near record prices.
The post Why the Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) share price just hit a new 52-week high appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –
The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price is gaining in early afternoon trade, up 4.40%.
At the current price of $2.02 per share, the ASX energy share is trading at 52-week highs.
We take a look at what’s driving investor interest.
Coal prices are rocketing
One of the factors driving the Whitehaven Coal share price to new 52-week highs is the soaring price of coal. Whitehaven’s fixed costs remain essentially the same regardless of the coal price. So any increases in the price tend to go straight to the company’s bottom line.
On Wednesday, analysts at National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) reported that Australian premium coking coal – the kind used to produce steel – was trading at US$168 per tonne, up from US$109 per tonne last month.
NAB’s analysts said (quoted by The Australian Financial Review):
[The increase] reflects a combination of recovering steel demand and tight supply. Given almost 80% of seaborne met coal demand is for markets outside of China, recovery here has been a critical requirement.
Recovery is underway, with steel production in these markets reaching the highest levels ever in April. Combined with tight supply due to planned and accident related outages, and the recovery in met coal prices ex-Australia might finally sustain.
Other welcome boosts for Whitehaven shareholders
The Whitehaven Coal share price has received a few other welcome boosts recently.
Last month both Macquarie and Credit Suisse upgraded Whitehaven shares to an outperform rating.
Macquarie had a $1.70 price target while Credit Suisse’s price target was $1.55 per share. At the time of writing, the shares are trading for $2.00.
The company also scored a legal victory at the end of May. That came as the Federal court dismissed proceedings that may have barred Environment Minister Susan Ley from granting approval for Whitehaven’s Vickery Extension Project.
Whitehaven Coal share price snapshot
Over the past 12 months, Whitehaven Coal shares are up 6%, trailing the 19% gains posted by the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) over that same time.
Year-to-date the Whitehaven Coal share price has outperformed, up 21% so far in 2021.
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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.