Commodities Watch Indonesia: Coal Price Up, Oil Price Down
The price of coal continued to strengthen for a second consecutive day on Thursday (24/08). The coal price for January 2018 contracts (the most-active contract on the Rotterdam commodities exchange) climbed 0.45 percent to USD $78.25 per metric ton, after closing higher 0.46 percent on the preceding trading day.
The movement of coal prices were in contrast to the performance of crude oil prices that are hampered by Hurricane Harvey that is approaching the distillation centers on the Texas Gulf Coast, USA.
Hurricane Harvey has forced workers to abandon several energy platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, closing the ocean terminal, and potentially flooding the refineries in Houston and Corpus Christi.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price for October delivery settled lower 98 cents to USD $47.43 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total traded volume was about 7 percent above the 100 day moving average.
Meanwhile, the Brent oil price (for October delivery) fell 53 cents to USD $52.04 per barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
"With the storm, there is less demand for oil amid the possibility of oil refineries closing, while there is also a very serious risk of flooding," said Kyle Cooper, Research Director of IAF Advisors in Houston.
The hurricane adds to existing oil price weakness that is fueled by fears of increased production from countries such as the US and Libya, as OPEC and its partners struggle to curtail the global supply surplus.
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