Prices for Australian premium hard coking coal exports provide the main benchmark for global metallurgical coal markets. Weather disruptions to Australian supply and changes to trade flows have made coking coal one of the most volatile commodities in the world, increasing the need for indexation and hedging. This volatility has carried over to relationships between grades, necessitating a broader range of indexes to enable the industry to track prices.

Argus publishes fob Australia, cfr China and cfr India indexes for premium low-volatile hard coking coal, mid-volatile hard coking coal, and pulverised coal injection (PCI) in Argus Ferrous Markets and delivered online through the Argus Metals. Argus also publishes prices for Chinese and Colombian metallurgical coke exports.

Price assessment details

What are the advantages of the Asia-Pacific coking coal price assessments?

Argus uses a transaction-focused methodology with active market engagement to assess daily prices in these developing markets. The Argus fob Australia index is based 50pc on a volume-weighted average of trades and 50pc on a survey of indicative prices. In the absence of transactions, the assessment is 100pc based on the survey to represent the market during periods of low liquidity. This methodology is proven and robust, smoothing out illiquid periods and ensuring wide spot market participation to limit any one party from dominating the index.


How are these price assessments used?

Argus indexes are used by major producers and steel mills for contract pricing globally and across different grades of metallurgical coal. Price volatility in recent years has led to the breakdown of Japan’s quarterly benchmark system for negotiating prices and its replacement by index-dependent pricing mechanisms in annual contracts.