Strategic management of an energy resource: Queensland's coking coals

Koerner, Richard (1993). Strategic management of an energy resource: Queensland's coking coals PhD Thesis, School of Business, The University of Queensland.

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Author Koerner, Richard
Thesis Title Strategic management of an energy resource: Queensland's coking coals
School, Centre or Institute School of Business
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1993
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor -
Total pages 376
Language eng
Subjects 350200 Business and Management
Formatted abstract

Queensland's export performance is significantly determined by developments in global markets for energy resources. Concerns have been voiced regarding the presence of distortions in and the functional performance of such markets. In particular, the Pacific coking coal market, which is dominated by Japanese steel industry purchasing policies, has been the subject of some investigation and debate. The resolution of this issue for the Pacific coking coal trade is an aim of the thesis.

All products and process technologies have a finite lifecycle. Blast furnace ironmaking is no exception. Pressures arising from increasing volatility of demand for steel and increased environmental controls on heavy industrial manufacturing processes, will ultimately lead to the replacement of the blast furnace as the preferred technology for ironmaking. An evaluation of the impact of such a change, and the managerial strategies which Queensland's coking coal industry participants can adopt in the face of such changes is a complementary research objective.


Central issues addressed in this study are the history, price formation, and supply/demand equilibrium characteristics of world coking coal markets, and the roles played by the Australian, American and Canadian coal industries. Modelling studies of Japanese demand for coking coal provide a vehicle for examining the impact of the Japanese steel industry purchasing policies on market behaviour.

Other market related issues examined include pricing relationships between energy commodities and the behaviour of internationally traded coking coal prices since the early sixties. Modelling studies of American energy markets are used to investigate price behaviour which could be expected in competitive markets.

Substitution of steel by other material inputs in many consumer durable goods is changing the relationship between steel consumption and economic growth in OECD countries. Shifts in patterns of demand growth for steel input commodities are examined in the light of such change.

Major restructuring of OECD steel manufacture has also taken place. The economic forces and industrial policy actions influencing the dynamics of restructuring of major OECD steel manufacturers are investigated.

Process technology developments in iron and steelmaking are undergoing significant change. These developments will impact the future use of bituminous coal in ironmaking. Technology driven qualitative and quantitative changes in steel industry demand for Queensland's hard coking coals are evaluated.


Recognition and acceptance of the realities of Pacific and European energy market distortions is required by all Australian coal industry participants. This is necessary for effective export strategies to be developed to cope with a
restructuring of the Queensland and New South Wales coking coal industries.

Restructuring of both the Australian and Canadian coking coal industries is required to cope with a persistent oversupply situation in a future industry environment of declining demand for coking coal. Prevention of a spiral of destructive competition, which could drive export prices for Australia's coking coals to parity or below that of thermal coals, will require coordinated intervention by federal and state government regulatory agencies.
Keyword Coal trade -- Queensland
Coke industry -- Queensland
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

Document type: Thesis
Collections: Queensland Past Online (QPO)
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Fri, 02 Oct 2009, 10:17:47 EST by Ms Christine Heslehurst on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service