All change for coal

Increased demand for coal, coupled with changes in its physical flows, have caused a surge in coal price volatility and exponential growth in derivatives trade, writes Guillaume Perret of Perret Associates

The steam coal market may appear to be well established, but is in fact in permanent evolution. Not only have global seaborne physical flows increased from 100 million tons in 1980 to 560 million tons in 2006, but they have also radically changed in terms of exporters and importers. These changes in the physical market have provoked a surge in price volatility that has increased the need for hedging tools. Indeed, the derivatives market that started in 2000 has grown exponentially since.

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