ANR), Patriot Coal ( PCX) and Arch Coal ( ACI) export from the East Coast facilities. These companies now have the opportunity to fill the gap as traditional suppliers of Europe from South Africa, Russia and Colombia have redirected shipments to Asia to leverage the robust demand arising there. Metallurgical coal constitutes a major portion of Japan's total 101-107 million tonnes coal imports. Following the positive industry happenings, Consol Energy and Cloud Peak Energy were up 10.9% and 9.1%, respectively during the past week. In 2010, Consol Energy sold about 13 million tonnes of metallurgical coal to export markets. Alpha Natural Resources, Patriot Coal and Arch Coal gained 8.2%, 8.1% and 6.1% last week, respectively. During 2010, Alpha exported 9.6 million tonnes of metallurgical coal, while Arch Coal generated almost 15% ($471.5 million) of its total revenue from exports. Arch Coal also owns a 38% stake in a loading facility near Colombia River, which is currently being expanded to handle 5 million tonnes of coal annually. Meanwhile, for 2011, Patriot Coal has already booked orders of almost one million tonnes of thermal coal from Europe, compared to nil in 2010.
Among other coal producers, Alliance Holdings ( AHGP) and Great Alliance Resource Partners ( ARLP) rose 8.8% and 8.7%, respectively. POSCO ( PKX), an integrated steel producer, soared 9.2% during the past week as demand for steel is also likely to rise in Japan, once it begins restructuring. Meanwhile, POSCO along with National Pension Service (NPS) and Japanese steel makers Nippon Steel and JFE Steel have entered into an agreement to acquire a 15% stake in Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineracao (CBMM). CBMM has the world's largest niobium reserves of approximately 800 million tons. Niobium is used in the production of high-grade steel product. With the S&P 500 declining 1.9% during the past week, a few metal and mining stocks recorded significant losses. Mines Management led the losers' pack, erasing 21%. Silver prices faced a slow down last week, thereby pushing silver stocks lower. Hecla Mining and MAG Silver shed 7.3% and 6.2% last week. Silver stocks Silver Wheaton ( SLW), Pan American Silver ( PAAS), Alexco Resources ( AXU) and Silver Standard Resources ( SSRI) dropped 4.8%, 3.4%, 2.9% and 2.6% during the past week, respectively. Among gold stocks, AngloGold Ashanti ( AU), Gold Fields ( GFI), Harmony Gold Mining ( HMY) and Kinross Gold ( KGC) fell 5.9%, 5.6%, 4.8% and 4.0% during the past week , respectively.