Chinese consortium betting on BC Coal

+ Chinese consortium is making a $1 billion bet on metallurgical coal in British Columbia to secure a key raw material for its steel making industry.

+ Construction of first of 3 underground mines will begin late next year.

+ Considering emigrating experienced underground coal miners from China and pay them as much as $45 per hour.

BC Coal Industry – Highlights

+ $5.1 billion – Value of BC coal exports in 2010 (more than entire wood products industry).

+ 86% – BC’s share of Canada’s $6 billion of coal exports in 2010

+ 106% – Increase in value of BC’s exports since 2007

+ $804 million – BC coal exports to mainland China in 2010 (15x more than the $54 million annual average from 2003 – 2007)


+ US added 216,000 net new jobs in March, no revisions from last month. Private sector added 230,000 new jobs. Best 2 month performance in five years. Unemployment rate declined to 8.8% from 8.9% in February.

+ German unemployment fell 2x as much as expected, lowest level since June 1992.

+ German business confidence unexpectedly held near a record this month.

+ The European Central Bank is widely expected to increase interest rates next week as consumer prices were up 2.6% in March vs 2010; highest rate since October 2008.

+ Over the next 3 years, Cushman Wakefield Inc. expects NY city office rents to increase 16% and San Francisco rents to increase 33%.