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Indonesian Thermal Coal Swaps Advance; China Contracts Fall

Swaps prices gained for thermal coal 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 the second quarter rose 15 cents to $66.30 a metric ton on a net-as-received yesterday, Ginga said in an e-mail today. The March contract held at $65 a ton.

Contracts for coal with a heating value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram for shipment to South China in the second quarter fell 10 cents to $87 a ton, the energy broker said. The swap for March added 10 cents to $85.85 a ton.

China will continue to import Indonesia’s low calorific value coal while India will marginally increases purchases of the fuel, Prama Chusnun, an analyst at BNP Paribas, wrote in a note today. Exports to Japan, Korea and Taiwan will be stable and domestic demand may grow with new power plants, according to the report.

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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