Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata called coal seams. It's one of the world's main sources of energy and is an important component in the transformation of iron ore to steel.

Types of Coal:

  • Thermal coal (brown coal) is burned to produce steam to generate electricity for industry and power grids.
  • Metallurgical coal (coking coal or black coal) burns at extremely high temperatures, and produces coke, which is a key reactant in the steal making process. There is no substitute for coking coal in this process. It's usually priced at a premium to thermal coal and the price correlated with steel production.

The world's biggest producers are China with 47% of global output (2019), followed by the United States, India and Australia. China, India and the United States are also the biggest consumers.

Coal is Australia’s second largest export behind iron ore.

The benchmark coal price is published daily and is widely available from reputable sources such as S&P Global Platts. Like most bulk commodities, transport costs, grade, and quality are extremely important when determining the end sale price of a shipment.

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