Coal prices

Coal prices rose in China, Japan, Europe and the US in 2017

Spot market coal price in China reached a new historical high in 2017, chiefly because total output could not meet the rising coal demand. The effect of this increasing coal price in China spilled over into the rest of the world in 2017. The international seaborne coal market was booming the whole year.

Coal prices ($ per tonne)

Coal prices ($ per tonne)


Annual prices quoted include the Northwest Europe marker price, Japan steam spot cif price, China Quinhuangdao spot price and the US Central Appalachian coal spot price index. Coal prices except for the US Central Appalachian price are calculated as cif prices, where CIF = cost + insurance + freight (average freight prices). The US Central Appalachian price is FOB = free on board. All prices are quoted in US dollars per tonne.

IHS Northwest Europe prices for 1996-2000 are the average of the monthly marker, 2001-2017 the average of weekly prices. IHS Japan prices basis = 6,000 kilocalories per kilogram NAR CIF. Chinese prices are the average monthly price for 2000-2005, weekly prices 2006-2017, 5,500 kilocalories per kilogram NAR, including cost and freight (CFR).


S&P Global Platts, c 2018, S&P Global Inc. Prices are for Central Appalachian 12,500 BTU, 1.2 SO2 coal, fob. Prices for 1996-2000 are by coal price publication date, 2001-2005 by coal price assessment date. 2006-2017 weekly CAPP 12,500 BTU, 1.6 SO2 coal, fob.

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