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 is primarily used in electricity generation. 75-80% of Australian thermal coal is exported.
- Metallurgical coal is primarily used to make steel. It's usually priced at a premium to thermal coal and 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.