A History of the Pan-Pacific Coal Trade from the 1950s to 2011: Exploring the Long-term Effects of a Buying Cartel
Since the early-1960s the Pan-Pacific coal trade has underpinned East Asia's industrial development. While the genesis of this trade lay in investment decisions by United States-based companies who pioneered exports from Australian and western Canadian mines, its development was largely shaped by the strategies of the Japanese steel mills who acted as a buying cartel. By the early 1980s this cartel had engineered an oversupplied market characterised by constantly falling prices. By 2001, however, this strategy proved counter-productive, as exports of coking coal in particular were concentrated in the hands of an oligopoly of super-efficient producers that drove up prices.
Australian Economic History Review
Organisation and Management Theory