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Coal Swaps Gain for Indonesian Contracts; China Prices Advance

Swaps prices rose for a third day for thermal coal from Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of the fuel, according to Ginga Petroleum Singapore Pte.

The swap for Indonesian sub-bituminous coal with a calorific value of 4,900 kilocalories a kilogram in the first quarter of 2013 rose 40 cents to $62.75 a metric ton on a net-as-received basis on Nov. 16, Ginga said in an e-mail today. The December contract gained 25 cents to $61 a ton.

Contracts for coal with a heating value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram for shipment to South China in the first quarter of next year climbed 10 cents to $84.50 a ton on a net-as-received basis, the energy broker said. The swap for December added 5 cents to $84.05 a ton.

The spot price for coal of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogram at the port of Qinhuangdao, China’s largest for delivering the fuel, was unchanged at 630 yuan ($101) to 645 yuan a ton as of yesterday compared with a week earlier, data from China Coal Transport and Distribution Association showed today. Stockpiles at the port rose to 6.46 million tons.

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. Higher moisture levels and a lower carbon content reduce the heating value compared with 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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