031110 A new study has found that SA coal reserves have been significantly downsized since 2003.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 453

London - European physical coal prices dropped slightly on Monday along with a weaker power market, while coal prices in South Africa rose on the back of electricity shortages there.

Cargoes for delivery in April to the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) were at a bid/offer spread of $79-$79.75 a tonne on Monday afternoon, slightly below last Friday's levels.

This was in line with slight drops in European power prices, where German contracts for baseload (24 hours) delivery in April fell 25 euro cents to 32.30 euros ($44.21) per megawatt-hour (MWh) as the winter demand period comes to an end.

In South Africa, coal prices rose on Monday as tight domestic electricity supplies threatened to halt exports from its main terminal at Richards Bay.

South African coal cargoes for delivery in March were trading at $79.25 a tonne on Monday afternoon, up 10 cents since Friday's settlement.

Traders said the price rise was a result of a tight South African power market.

Electricity outages in South Africa have previously led to coal supply disruptions.

South African national utility Eskom warned on Monday that electricity supply would be “very tight” this week because of outages at a number of units. - Reuters