(EnergyAsia, November 15 2012, Thursday) — Slammed by lower coal prices, Thailand’s largest coal miner Banpu Plc has reported a third-quarter profit of 2.26 billion baht, down 46% from year-ago level and 17% lower from the previous quarter. (US$1=30 baht).

The Bangkok-listed company, which produces coal in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and China, expects no relief in sight for next year as its third-quarter sales revenue fell 5% to 29.22 billion year-on-year. Coal accounted for 94% of its total revenue, with the rest coming from electricity and other businesses.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Banpu chief executive Chanin Vongkusolkit, said higher production and slower demand growth in Asia combined to drive coal prices lower.

“The average coal selling price was US$79.74 per tonne, down 12% from the same period last year, due to the unfavourable global coal market,” he said.

Banpu said it averaged a sale price of US$88.05 per tonne for its Indonesian coal, down 11% from year-ago levels, while its Australian coal sold for 1% less at A$68.56 per tonne.

“Coal operations in Indonesia and Australia have increased their sales volume with lower production cost in this quarter, which lessened the impact on the profit margin,” the company said.

“China coal business generated equity income of 22 million baht with a greater selling price compared to the second quarter. The Gaohe mine started commercial operation in late September this year after receiving production licence from the Coal Industry Bureau of Shanxi province.”