The API 4 price assessment is the benchmark price reference for 6,000 kcal/kg coal exported from South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal and is used in physical and over-the-counter contracts.

It is calculated as an average of the Argus fob Richards Bay price assessment, published in Argus Coal Daily International, and the McCloskey's FOB Richards Bay marker.

Daily, weekly and monthly indexes are published for the API4.


API 4 off-specification differentials

The API 4 off-specification differentials provide independent benchmarks for lower-quality coal exported from Richards Bay. Prices are for 5,700 kcal/kg, 5,500 kcal/kg and 4,800 kcal/kg coal. These prices are published weekly.

API 4 differentials are calculated as an average of the Argus and McCloskey’s Richards Bay off-spec differentials.

Price assessment details

What are the advantages of the Argus API 4 coal price assessment?

The API 4 price assessment is the most liquid, most transparent fob coal price in the world.

Along with the API 4, the API 4 differentials allow market participants to best capture fair value across the quality spectrum of the South African coal that they are trading.

API prices are published every Friday in the Argus/McCloskey’s Coal Price Index Report service, which provides daily, weekly and monthly average price assessments for South Africa and the other major coal trading hubs globally.

How is this assessment used?

More than 85pc of the world’s coal derivative contracts are settled against the API 2 and API 4 price assessments. The API 4 price assessment is used for futures and options contracts on financial exchanges and is the settlement basis for quality adjustments, sales and transfer pricing agreements and more.