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Australia's New Hope sees Asia coal markets bottoming
[MELBOURNE] Australian coal and oil producer New Hope Corp reported a 56 per cent slide in first-half core profit, hurt by its oil business, but said there are signs the Asian thermal coal market has stabilised.
Net profit before one-offs fell to A$15.0 million (S$15.5 million) for the six months to December from A$34.2 million a year earlier, as coal and oil prices sank.
New Hope, Australia's top independent coal producer, said growing ship queues at the port of Newcastle were a positive sign and showed demand remained firm for Australian coal in power stations in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
"The outlook for Asian seaborne thermal coal markets is starting to show signs of stabilising after a period of weakness driven by Chinese import contraction," New Hope said in its results statement.