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patriot coal slides on weak outlook for sales volumes

(reuters) - shares of patriot coal corp (pcx.n) fell 10 percent after the miner cut its outlook for metallurgical coal sales volumes, citing potential default by a key customer.
patriot coal shares fell to a three-year low of $4.36 on tuesday on the new york stock exchange.
the company, which did not name the customer, said on monday it now expects to sell 3.9 million tons of met coal, or steelmaking coal, in 2012, down from the 4.9 million tons it had earlier forecast.
the spot market price for high-volatile coal was about $25 to $30 per ton, lower than the original contracted price with the customer, st. louis, missouri-based patriot coal said in a statement.
demand for high-volatile met coal, which is low quality, is weak, while higher grades of coal are increasingly sought after by steelmakers.
patriot said last week that it was in discussions with some customers who were looking to cancel or delay shipments for delivery in 2012.
analysts at citi cut their price target on patriot's stock to $6 from $7.
(reporting by swetha gopinath in bangalore; editing by viraj nair)

 

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