March 12, 2007

Platts Introduces Daily Spot Coal Prices

LONDON, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- As the price of European coal pushes to the upside of its two-year highs near $70 per metric ton (mt), Platts, the world's leading energy information provider and top supplier of benchmark prices, is introducing daily reporting of two of its benchmark coal prices to better facilitate risk management for financial and coal-dependent industries.

"These new assessments offer the coal trading markets new tools for daily trading activity," said Margaret Ryan, Platts' editorial director of global coal. "Platts pioneered the world's most transparent coal pricing with our Coal Industry Markers, which reflect industry consensus on 90-day-forward pricing for major grades of coal worldwide. With the increasing trend to daily trading for specific-month forward delivery, these new daily assessments will provide traders and brokers a reliable and independent source against which to manage their trading exposures and to mark their positions at the end of each trading day."

Platts' new daily price assessments reflect the benchmark coal delivered into northwest Europe and the coal at origin in South Africa. These are the first cash price assessments made daily for use by market participants in the increasingly active international trading of coal in the forward-month physical delivery market. Until now, international coal markets have been trading on a less timely 90-day-forward delivery basis, with markets relying on benchmark prices assessed on a weekly basis.

Platts' introduction of daily price assessments in coal comes at a critical time when the coal-power industries, global electricity consumers, and risk managers are grappling with a demand-led price increase, Ryan noted. European coal prices have topped their two-year highs above $70/mt, after being range-bound between $60/mt and $70/mt during most of 2006. The price climb has been triggered in part by supply disruptions from Indonesia and Australia, which has sent Asian coal buyers scrambling after supplies from South Africa, the main supplier to Europe where coal powers 50% of some nations' electricity.

Platts' new assessments will benefit not only commodity price watchers, but also dry bulk freight differential traders who will gain a new reliable and independent daily indicator of the physical freight component for next- month delivery via the cost differential between price at origin and price at destination.

For more information about coal freight differentials, global coal prices and Platts' new daily coal price assessments visit Platts at under the Coal tab. Daily coal price assessments are available via subscription to Coal Trader International.

About Platts:

Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies , is a leading global provider of energy and metals information. With nearly a century of business experience, Platts serves customers across more than 150 countries. From 14 offices worldwide, Platts serves the oil, natural gas, electricity, nuclear power, coal, petrochemical and metals markets. Platts' real time news, pricing, analytical services, and conferences help markets operate with transparency and efficiency. Traders, risk managers, analysts, and industry leaders depend upon Platts to help them make better trading and investment decisions. Additional information is available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion. Additional information is available at


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