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Indonesian Coal Swaps Rise a Third day; China Prices Unchanged

Swaps prices rose a third day for thermal coal from Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of the fuel for generating electricity, 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 gained 20 cents to $63.20 a metric ton on a net-as-received basis yesterday, Ginga said in an e-mail today. The January contract climbed 20 cents to $63.20 a ton.

Contracts for coal with a heating value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram for shipment to South China in the first quarter held at $84 a ton on a net-as-received basis, the energy broker said. The swap for January was unchanged at $83.65.

Price of thermal coal at Australia’s Newcastle port, the benchmark for Asian contract, declined 35 cents to $90.30 a ton in the week ended Dec. 14, according to IHS McCloskey, a Petersfield, U.K.-based provider of coal data. It was the first weekly drop in eight weeks.

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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