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Indonesian Thermal Coal Swaps Rise; China Contracts Advance

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

The contract for Indonesian sub-bituminous coal with a calorific value of 4,900 kilocalories a kilogram in February increased 5 cents to $64.65 a metric ton on a net-as-received basis yesterday, Ginga said in an e-mail today. The swap in the second quarter was unchanged at $66.10 a ton.

Contracts for coal with a heating value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram for shipment to South China in the second quarter advanced 60 cents to $87.85 a ton on a net-as-received basis, the energy broker said. The February contract rose 5 cents to $85.55 a ton.

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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