TOKYO, April 2 (Reuters) - Global miner Glencore and Japan’s Tohoku Electric Power agreed on a price of $94.75 per tonne for supplies of thermal coal from Australia for the year through March 2020, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The price, which serves as an industry benchmark for supplies of seaborne thermal coal in Asia, was 14 percent lower than a price agreed for supplies for the year through September this year.
The agreement helps restore clarity to an opaque market after Glencore and Tohoku Electric abandoned the annual talks for April-March supplies last year.
The Australian miner later agreed on a price of $110 per tonne in August for some contracts with other Japanese thermal coal buyers for the April to March period.
Glencore has two annual benchmark supply contracts with Japanese utilities, typically negotiated by Tohoku Electric, one for April through March and the other for October through September that takes account for later market conditions.
With annual imports last year of slightly less than 114 million tonnes, Japan is one of the world’s biggest importers of thermal coal. Australia supplied a little over 70 percent of those imports in 2018.
A Tohoku spokesman declined to comment. Glencore could not immediately be contacted for comment.
Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by Richard Pullin