Fording Canadian Coal Trust

Fording Canadian Coal Trust

February 01, 2005 23:59 ET

Fording Announces Higher Coal Prices

Tight Market Conditions Contribute to Substantial Price Increase for
2005 Coal Sales

CALGARY--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 1) - Fording Canadian Coal Trust (TSX:
FDG.UN, NYSE: FDG) announced today that Elk Valley Coal has completed
almost all of its annual price and volume negotiations with its coal
customers. Substantially all sales of metallurgical and other coal for
the 2005 coal year beginning April 1, 2005 have now been priced at an
average of U.S.$122 per tonne on an FOB west coast port equivalent

"The unprecedented demand for high quality hard coking coal has
contributed to the significantly higher contract prices we have been
able to secure for the 2005 coal year," said Jim Popowich, President of
Fording Canadian Coal Trust. "Our decision to expand Elk Valley Coal's
current metallurgical coal capacity by about 12% - from 25 million
tonnes to 28 million tonnes - by the third quarter of 2005 should allow
our unitholders to further benefit from these market conditions.

Substantially all hard coking coal contracts for the 2005 coal year are
priced at an average of U.S.$125 per tonne on an FOB west coast port
equivalent basis. A small portion of 2005 calendar year sales are based
on contracts that are not on the April 1 to March 31 coal year cycle.
Sales for calendar 2005 also include some sales priced at 2004 coal
year prices. In addition, some contracts include additional amounts for
ocean freight and small volumes of PCI and thermal coal is sold for
less than the hard coking coal price. Taking these factors into
account, the weighted average price of 2005 calendar year sales for all
coal is expected to be slightly over U.S.$100 per tonne, nearly double
the average price of U.S.$52 per tonne obtained in 2004.

Coal sales volumes for the 2005 calendar year are targeted to exceed 27
million tonnes, a 2 million tonne increase over our 2004 sales volumes.
Achieving these targets will require Elk Valley Coal to continue
running its operations at capacity and depends on the ability of rail
and port service providers to handle the additional volumes, both of
which are subject to many operating risks and other uncertainties.

About Fording

Fording Canadian Coal Trust is an open-ended mutual fund trust. Through
investments in metallurgical coal and industrial minerals mining and
processing operations, the Trust makes quarterly cash distributions to
unitholders. The Trust, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fording
Inc., holds a 60% interest in the Elk Valley Coal Partnership and is
the world's largest producer of the industrial mineral wollastonite.
Elk Valley Coal Partnership, comprised of Canada's senior metallurgical
coal mining properties, is the world's second largest exporter of
metallurgical coal, currently supplying approximately 25 million tonnes
of high-quality coal products annually to the international steel
industry. The Trust's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange
under the ticker symbol FDG.UN and on the New York Stock Exchange under
the symbol FDG.

Forward-looking Information

Certain information included in this document is of a forward-looking
nature. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown
risks, as well as uncertainties and other factors. Accordingly, actual
results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in
forward-looking information. Some of the risks, uncertainties and other
factors affecting Fording Canadian Coal Trust are discussed in our
public filings with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada and
the United States. Copies of Fording Canadian Coal Trust's Canadian
filings, including our most recent management information circular,
annual information form, annual report, quarterly reports, material
change reports and news releases, are available online at, and copies of our U.S. filings, including our most
recent annual report on Form 40-F as supplemented by filings on Form 6-
K, are available at Information in this document is
presented as of February 1, 2005 and is subject to change after this
date. However, Fording Canadian Coal Trust disclaims any intention or
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether
as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Fording Canadian Coal Trust
    Susan J. Soprovich
    Director, Investor Relations
    Fording Canadian Coal Trust
    (403) 260-9834
    Fording Canadian Coal Trust
    Catherine Hart
    Coordinator, Investor Relations
    (403) 260-9817