BHP sees no near-term relief in coal prices but confident in long-term demand

BHP Billiton (BHP) coal president Dean Dalla Valle expects little near-term improvement in coal prices (KOL), believing the market likely will remain oversupplied for some time, but remains optimistic about long-term demand.

Dalla Valle expects most demand growth to come from outside China, which has been the primary driver of global commodity prices in recent years and now accounts for about half of the world's coal consumption.

"These recent drops in prices should be viewed in perspective," given prices still remain well above historic lows, Dalla Valle says, while not ruling out selling some coal mines, such as mines in South Africa and its stake in the Cerrejon mine in Colombia.

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