March 19, 2012 / 2:22 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-SouthGobi Resources loss narrows on higher coal prices

* Q4 loss/shr $0.14 vs loss/shr $0.16 yr ago

* Revenue up 23 pct

* Average realized selling price $55.51/tonne vs $31.56/tonne yr ago

March 19 (Reuters) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss helped by a rise in average realized prices, and the Canadian coal miner forecast strong demand due to its mines’ proximity to China.

SouthGobi — whose Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine in Mongolia is about 40 kilometers from the world’s largest coal consumer, China — expects strong demand from the country to help buck the industry trend.

North American and Australian coking coal producers have mostly indicated that early 2012 will see lower prices and demand for seaborne coking coal.

SouthGobi sells metallurgical and thermal coal mainly to customers in China.

The Asian giant’s thermal coal imports could soar to one billion tonnes in 2030 from just 175 million in 2011, research consultants Wood Mackenzie said.

The global outlook for coal is also bright. The U.S. Department of Energy expects demand to climb 50 percent by 2035.

For the October-December period, SouthGobi posted a net loss of $18.9 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with a loss of $28.7, or 16 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue for the company, which also has two development projects — the Soumber Deposit and the Ovoot Tolgoi Underground Deposit — in Mongolia, rose 23 percent to $51.1 million.

The company sold 1.15 million tonnes of coal, down from 1.47 million tonnes of coal sold, a year ago.

However, average realized selling price was $55.51 per tonne in the quarter, up from an average realized selling price of $31.56 per tonne, a year ago.

Shares of the company were up 16 Canadian cents at C$6.29 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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