Seeking opportunities in coal trading

Coal prices are expected to have better support this year than last, but trading opportunities will lie in relative-value strategies, say market experts. Jay Maroo reports

Coal market

Thermal coal prices, which have fallen steadily in the past 10 months, are expected to remain flat or slightly higher this year, with more support seen for benchmark API 4 contracts than API 2, according to analysts and market participants.

The major benchmark swaps contracts API 2 (European imports) and API 4 (South African exports) hit highs in early April last year of around $129 a tonne and $124 a tonne respectively, and fell steadily for the rest of the year (see figure 1). API 2 is down 23

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