(Adds Indonesia comment)
SINGAPORE Oct 18 Australian thermal coal spot
prices have hit $100 per tonne for the first time since 2012,
with a cargo ordered at that price for delivery from Newcastle
port in November, according to trading platform GLOBALcoal on
The deal means that Pacific benchmark prices
have now soared by almost 100 percent since June to levels last
seen in April 2012, making coal the hottest commodity of the
The price rally ended half a decade of steady declines, and
has lifted mining share prices like Whitehaven Coal,
Glencore or Anglo American away from lows.
The price spike has been spurred by domestic mining cuts in
China, which has required electricity generators and also steel
makers to make up for the shortfall via imports, taking much of
the market by surprise.
"Coal miners are just as surprised as anyone in how well
coal has performed. Limited supplies of high-quality thermal
coal should keep the market in good shape through the end of the
year. After that, it will be determined by the supply response,"
said James Wilson, analyst at Argonaut Securities.
The price rally is not limited to Australia. Indonesian
benchmark coal prices are up around 30 percent this year, and
Bambang Gatot, Coal and Minerals Director General at Indonesia's
mining ministry, told Reuters on Tuesday he expects the current
price rally to last to the end of the first quarter of 2017.
After that, however, many traders say that the almost
unprecedented boom of 2016 will likely lead to some form of a
Forward prices for both Australian physical coal prices as
well as for Chinese coal futures show prices fall off sharply
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE, Fergus Jensen in
JAKARTA and Jim Regan in SYDNEY; Editing by Christian