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Coal Price Sets Record at $185 a Ton

Posted July. 14, 2008 08:11,   


Soaring international oil prices are also pushing up those of alternative fuel sources. The price of bituminous coal, an alternative fuel at thermal power stations, has surpassed 180 U.S. dollars a ton for the first time.

The spot price of Dubai crude oil, Korea’s benchmark import, also jumped more than six dollars per barrel Friday. The future price of West Texas intermediate exceeded 147 dollars, setting another record high.

Korea Resources Corp. said yesterday that bituminous coal was traded at 185 dollars a ton Australian coal FOB Newcastle in the second week of July, up 16 dollars in just a week.

Bituminous coal is one of eight strategic natural resources along with oil, gas, uranium, copper, zinc, nickel and iron ore closely monitored by the National Energy Committee. A strategic resource is a natural resource on which Korea is heavily import dependent and whose disruption of supply could severely damage leading industries. The list is updated every three years.

Bituminous coal skyrocketed from 67.9 dollars per ton in July last year to 185 dollars last week, a whopping 172-percent increase. This is the highest hike among the eight strategic resources.

The price of crude oil was affected by news of Iran’s missile tests and an oil workers’ strike in Brazil. According to Korea National Oil Corporation, the spot price of Dubai crude was traded at 139.03 dollars a barrel, up 6.22 dollars from the previous day and close to the record 140.70 dollars set July 4.

The future price of West Texas intermediate on the New York Mercantile Exchange soared to a record 147.27 dollars per barrel before closing at 145.08 dollars, up 3.43 dollars from the previous year. Brent crude oil on London’s ICE settled at 144.49 dollars, up 2.46 dollars.