PERTH/TOKYO, Sept 28 Xstrata Plc and
Tohoku Electric Power Co have settled a coal supply
contract for the year beginning Oct. 1 at just under $97 per
tonne, sources told Reuters on Friday.
The negotiations are held between a lead Japanese utility,
in this case Tohoku, which negotiates on behalf of other
Tohoku agreed to buy Australian thermal coal from Xstrata at
$96.90 per tonne, a level which will likely be followed by
Japan's other utilities, according to market sources with
knowledge of the negotiations.
The settlement price is over $10 per tonne more than the
Australian thermal coal price benchmark, which closed at $85.10
per tonne on Thursday.
The October contract price is around 12 percent over the
While long-term contract prices are typically a few dollars
above Australian coal spot prices, a premium usually explained
by security of supply, the spread between the spot price and the
contract price has been widening since the March 2011 Fukushima
Japanese utilities have been using coal-fired power to
replace nuclear power lost after all 50 nuclear reactors were
brought off line for checks in the aftermath of the crisis.
The price is also 23 percent lower than the $126.50 per
tonne settlement for the October contract one year ago. This
follows global coal prices, which have fallen sharply as demand,
particularly from top consumer China, has waned.
(Reporting by Rebekah Kebede in PERTH and Osamu Tsukimori in
TOKYO; Editing by Ron Popeski)