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Indonesian Thermal Coal Swaps Drop; China Contracts Unchanged

Swaps prices dropped 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 second quarter fell 15 cents yesterday to $64.75 a metric ton on a net-as-received basis, Ginga said in an e-mail today. The February contract held at $63.85 a ton.

Contracts for coal with a heating value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram for shipment to South China in the second quarter held at $86 a ton on a net-as-received basis, the energy broker said. The February contract was unchanged at $85.10 a ton.

Chinese power-station coal demand will stay elevated into next week because of declining stockpiles of the fuel at ports and rising winter electricity usage, New York-based Commodore Research & Consultancy said in a report yesterday.

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 fewer than 6,100 kilocalories per kilogram, according to the Indonesian energy ministry.

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