Thermal Coal
Prices decline as supply gradually increases
December 2017
The November spot price for premium Australian thermal coal averaged US$95/t FOB Newcastle, down 1.0% from September. The price declined from ~US$100/t at the start of November to US$92/t, then rose to US$95/t by the end of the month. The spot price for Newcastle high ash thermal coal averaged US$76/t in November, a fall of 3% on month.

Glencore and Tohoku settled the October 2017–September 2018 thermal coal contract price at US94.75/t for Newcastle 6,322kcal/kg GAR coal FOB, an increase of 11.5% from the April–March contract. The October 2016 contract price also settled at US$94.75/t.

Thermal supply in China increased in November, after mines ordered to halt operations during the 19th CPC National Congress resumed production. The spot price for Qinghuangdao 5500NAR thermal coal averaged US$88/t for the month, a fall of 6.6% from October. The differential between the Newcastle high ash thermal FOB price and Qinhuangdao 5500NAR narrowed to average US$12/t in November. After considering freight cost, exports from Newcastle currently possess a US$~2–3/t price advantage over domestic production.

The spot price for CIF ARA 6000NAR thernal coal averaged US$94/t, up 2% month on month. The price fell from US$96/t to US$93/t during November.

South African 5,500 NAR thermal coal spot prices averaged US$76/t in November, up 1% month on month. FOB Kalimantan 4200GAR thermal coal averaged US$44/t, down 4% month on month. Products sold FOB Colombia averaged US$84/t, steady month on month, and FOB Russia Baltic was also unchanged at US$86/t. Russian spot sales into the Pacific market averaged US$100/t, down 3% month on month.