(EnergyAsia, April 13 2011, Wednesday) — globalCOAL said the ICE-based Newcastle coal futures contract traded at near-record levels last Friday (April 8).

The 3,040 lots cleared in a single day, equivalent to over 3 million tonnes of coal, represented the second highest daily volume on record since July 2010.

“Activity in the gC ICE Newcastle contract was already running at higher levels since the beginning of April, possibly influenced by Japanese long-term contract negotiations in progress, and a recent hike in volatility in Newcastle and Richards Bay prices,” said Patrick Markey, globalCOAL’s Singapore-based manager.

“But Friday saw Brent crude oil jump by a considerable $3.98 a barrel, which may have contributed to this surge of activity.”

For the year to date, ICE has cleared 43,547 lots of Newcastle coal futures – a 23% increase on the same period last year.

globalCOAL was founded by leading members of the world coal industry to promote screen trading of standardised coal products. The company has developed the world’s leading electronic marketplace for thermal coal, as well as a range of standardised coal quality specifications, a Standard Coal Trading Agreement (SCoTA), and robust methodology for coal price index calculation.