Platts Expands Suite of Thermal Coal Assessments for China and Greater Asia

Data Aids Price Discovery & Risk Management of China's Domestic and Imported Coal

Apr 17, 2013, 08:00 ET from Platts

SINGAPORE, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Platts, a leading source of benchmark price assessments in energy, petrochemicals and metals, today announced it has further expanded its suite of pricing references for China and the greater Asia-Pacific region with the launch of two new thermal coal price assessments for the Chinese market.

"The two price assessments are designed to complement each other by providing a quick and straightforward way for traders and other interested parties to compare the prices of domestic and imported thermal coal in the Chinese market and immediately determine whether there is price  arbitrage advantages favoring one type or the other," said James O'Connell, Editor-in-Chief of Platts Coal Trader International.

The new assessments capture physical spot prices for domestic and imported thermal coal with a calorific value of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogram (kcal/kg) on a net-as-received basis as follows: 

  • Platts CFR South China: Physical open-market price assessment of thermal coal (including the cost of freight) out of Australia, Colombia, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa that is traded in the seaborne spot market and delivered within a 15- to 60-day forward period to southern ports in China.
  • Platts FOB Qinhuangdao: The launch of the new assessments follows extensive consultation with participants in the China-based market, including international and domestic traders, coal producers, power generation companies and other end-user customers and industry in China.

"We believe that providing a consistent independent source of spot price information supports better decision making regarding cargo trade, arbitrage between regions, storing and transporting thermal coal to markets, investment in infrastructure projects and optimal production rates, processing margins and consumption levels," said O'Connell.

China's domestic thermal coal production has quadrupled since 2002 to approximately 4 billion metric tons in 2012, all of it consumed domestically by the nation's ever-expanding power plant system. China added more than 350 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation capacity in the last 10 years. In the last five years, China has turned from a coal-producing nation supplying Japan and other Asian nations, to a voracious consumer of imported coal from suppliers such as Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia, Colombia and the United States.

Platts' CFR South China and FOB Qinhuangdao thermal coal price assessments are based on all-day market monitoring and data collection of transactions, bids, offers and other information from market participants in the open markets. Assessments reflect values at the close of the physical trading day, local time. All prices are quoted as U.S. dollars per metric ton (mt).

The price assessments are underpinned by a structured methodology that was developed through consultation with a cross-section of key industry players and draws upon Platts' century of experience in benchmark price reporting in energy. Full methodology details may be found on the Platts website at:

Platts' thermal coal assessments are published daily in Platts Coal Trader International and weekly market analysis is provided in Platts International Coal Report. The daily assessments are also published via the Platts real-time information service Platts European Power Alert and Platts Market Data - Coal, a flexible-format, end-of-day data service.

The new price references augment Platts' existing suite of more than a dozen thermal coal assessments facilitating the Asia-Pacific.

For more information on coal, visit the Platts website at

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coalelectricityoil, natural gas, nuclear powermetals, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets.  A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: The McGraw-Hill Companies, to be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval), is a powerhouse in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Leading brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at

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