Thermal coal plummets during Tokyo negotiations

NEWCASTLE’s thermal coal index is trading at its lowest point for 2009 at $US76.33 a tonne, as fixed export-contract negotiations continue for the next Japanese financial year starting April 1.
Thermal coal plummets during Tokyo negotiations Thermal coal plummets during Tokyo negotiations Thermal coal plummets during Tokyo negotiations Thermal coal plummets during Tokyo negotiations Thermal coal plummets during Tokyo negotiations

Coal ship arriving at Port of Lyttelton. Courtesy Solid Energy.

Blair Price

Thermal coal prices dived across the board in the week ending Friday Feb 20, with globalCOAL NEWC index sinking 5.17%, down from $US80.28/t the week previous, while South Africa’s Richards Bay price fell 7.58% with the globalCOAL RB index clocking in at a mere $US67.83/t.

Meanwhile, the globalCOAL DES ARA index, considered to be South African spot thermal-coal prices plus freight, is trading at $US76.25/t, far above Richards Bay’s price, but still took a 3.51% shave from last week’s price of $US78.93/t.

The price falls do not bode well for thermal-coal producers, with Goldman Sachs JBWere reporting last week that contract negotiations for the upcoming Japanese financial year were underway in Tokyo.

At the time, the investment bank said it was unaware of any settlements for new tonnage.

In the week ending January 23, the globalCOAL NEWC index hit $US88.19 a tonne.

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