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CIF ARA 6,000 NAR Coal: Coal Price Assessments

What is CIF ARA 6,000 NAR?

Platts CIF ARA 6,000 NAR is a daily 15-60 day forward price assessment for thermal coal shipped from Colombia, Russia, South Africa, Poland, Australia or the US to the northwest European trading hub of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp. The term ‘6,000 NAR’ refers to the net calorific value (heating value) of the coal in kilocalories per kilogram.

The delivery structure of the assessment was changed, effective March 1 2013, to a 15-60 day forward delivery window basis from the date of publication, from a 90-day window previously.

The change was made as Platts believes a shorter delivery window reflects structural changes in the physical steam coal market. The emergence of a thriving Pacific import market has drastically reduced the need for the Atlantic Basin to import coals from distant destinations with longer sailing times.

CIF ARA 6,000 NAR is an important coal price assessment, reflecting the spot price of industry standard 6,000 kcal/kg NAR quality coal bought mainly by European utilities which is eventually barged from the ARA region via a network of rivers and canals to inland power plant in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

The CIF ARA 6,000 NAR Price Assessment is available in these services.

How we assess CIF ARA 6,000 NAR

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Our team of experienced coal market reporters interview a broad pool of active market participants including but not limited to producers, consumers, traders and brokers on a daily basis. Platts places great value on its ability to discover settled physical tonnage deals, which constitute the best indication of the true market value for a given coal.

In the absence of confirmed trades, assessments take into account firm bids and offers that meet Platts methodology guidelines. Bids and offers must increase or decrease in realistic increments for inclusion in the assessment.

Our CIF ARA 6,000 NAR daily assessment reflects the tradable, repeatable spot market value of this increasingly important grade of coal at 5.00pm London time precisely.

We publish bids, offers, expressions of interest to trade, and confirmed trades during our Market on Close process every day. The information is summarised in daily market comments in our newsletter Coal Trader International.

Evolution of the CIF ARA 6,000 NAR market – a brief history

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Platts began assessing the CIF ARA 6,000 kcal/kg NAR thermal coal market in the 1990s on a weekly basis, before starting to publish daily assessments in 2007.

Europe is the main demand hub of the Atlantic Basin, with Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain accounting for the lion’s share of steam coal imports.

Despite some peaks and troughs since the financial crisis of 2008, European physical steam coal demand has remained relatively robust over the years, although volumes have fallen from pre-credit crunch levels. Around 150 million metric tons was shipped to Europe in 2012.

As a result of the Large Combustion Plant Directive, which required inefficient power stations to meet new emissions standards by either retrofitting or shutting down, several older coal-fired plants in the UK and France were taken offline in 2013.

However, the recent low cost of imported steam coal as well as coal-fired power generation’s higher profit margins after emissions costs – the clean dark spreads – over those of gas –fired generation, have supported the coal market in recent years.

Question marks remain over whether planned new coal-fired generation capacity will see the light of day, due to environmental opposition as well as the restrictions of lower electricity prices capping profit margins.

However, as of today, the northwest European market remains a crucial focal point for steam coal trading and boasts the most active and liquid steam coal derivatives market, with traded volumes of 1.63 billion metric tons in 2012.

Coal Price Assessment Methodology



GET ACCESS TO DAILY COAL PRICES, NEWS AND ANALYSIS

The CIF ARA 6,000 NAR Coal Price Assessment is available in the following Platts services:

Market Data – Coal Prices

  • Access the latest, most accurate market price data for coal. This service provides you with our end-of-day assessments, corrections, third-party data, and a rolling 45-day historical database
  • The most efficient and reliable way to receive our industry-standard benchmark assessments data
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Platts Coal Trader International

  • Provides market-leading coverage on physical and financial market prices of coal and coking coal
  • Includes daily coverage of the coal markets including a summary of events and developments
  • Covers coal trading in the Atlantic and Pacific markets including price assessments for European CIF ARA, FOB Newcastle, Richards Bay and Indonesia

Coal Trader

  • Provides the latest prices for key coal benchmarks
  • Key analysis - what happened in yesterday's OTC markets, and why
  • Reports on who's in the market for coal, and what they're looking for



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