CS says that ANR has priced 5 million tons of met coal at $ 87/ton. This is way lower than the Q1 numbers, which were bad enough. The spot market seems to be terrible. ANR is NRP's largest lessee in CAPP, and mines a bunch of met coal there. I don't know how much met coal ANR mines on NRP's properties, so this may or may not directly affect NRP. Again, more stuff for NRP to comment on, maybe.
Key to coal is obviously China in both thermal and MET. In 2011, China imported 177 million tons of coal, about half of global exports. India's current five year plan calls for the import of 185 million tons of coal by 2017, only 4 years from now. In the USA I think it likely that coal's share of power generation will continue to decline. That NPR has a small position in oil and natural gas lease holdings is telling..Another coal firm similar to NPR is Penn Virginia Resources (PVR). PVR has stated that it will no longer invest in coal reserves choosing instead to invest in natural gas gathering systems in places like northern pennsylvania. I fully expect NPR to diversify like PVR and continue building up in aggregates/oil and gas/other like the trona bit. Coal for NPR will IMO be less than 50% of its' revenue within 5 years. I have invested a chuck of change in PVR,too.
ANR has massive debt. Don't know how they can afford to sell coal at a loss.
In February guidance comments, NRP management expected mine closures. Don't believe that has happened yet. They also expected met coal demand in China to pick up in the second quarter of 2013. Don't believe that is happening either. Have heard encouraging comments recently about thermal coal. Nothing good about the met coal business yet. Met coal is the key for NRP.
Hope you will comment when NRP reports tonight ,jran. If guidance is cut, would like to know how long you think that the present distribution amount will be kept.