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Prices Fall for Lower-Quality Indonesian Coal, Chinese Supply

Thermal-coal swap contracts for Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel, fell yesterday, according to Ginga Petroleum Singapore Pte. China prices also dropped.

The price for sub-bituminous coal with a heating value of 4,900 kilocalories a kilogram for loading in July from Indonesia was 10 cents lower at $66.90 a metric ton on a net as-received basis, the energy broker said in an e-mail today. The contract for the third quarter fell $1.75. or 2.6 percent, to $65.25.

Coal with a calorific value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram for shipments to South China for July was down 25 cents to $90.25 a ton on a net as-received basis, Ginga said. The swap for the third quarter was 25 cents lower at the same price.

A commodity swap is a financial agreement whereby a floating price is exchanged for a fixed rate over a specified contract period.

About 60 percent of Indonesia’s coal is classified as sub-bituminous. The grade is typically softer, with a dull, earthy appearance, according to the London-based World Coal Association. Higher moisture levels and a lower carbon content reduce the heating value compared with grades with a better quality stock. Sub-bit coal has kilocalories of less than 6,100 per kilogram, according to the Indonesian energy ministry.

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