PSCMI MARKERS: USE AND ITS SHORTCOMINGS

According to the numbers presented by the ARP, in 2013 PSCMI1 input prices were accounted for 48.9% of all transactions made between mining sector and power producers, which means the marker is slightly losing its credibility, since two years before that number was at a level of 57.3% (but the situation could also be caused by the fact that some of the power plants are adapted to use the coal of quality much worse than Qir 20,000 kJ/kg e.g. Energa’s power plant in Ostrołęka).

On the other hand, PSCMI2 input data share in the total industrial coal trade increased from 14.6% in 2012 to 21.4% in 2013 (the number twice as smaller than the percentage in PSCMI1 due to the fact that great majority of energy production uses domestic coal, while smaller industrial consumers are split between Polish and imported commodity).

The first issue that was commented regarding PSCMI structure when the index was brought to the market was the fact, that it excludes prices of the foreign coal (unlike Polcoaldex project and the concept by U. Lorenz). With the decreasing coal import in 2015 though, the demand for including them in the methodology or creating PSCMI3 for the imported commodity became less visible.

The second problem highlighted by the traders was the frequency of updates. Polcoaldex PCIs were supposed to be updated weekly, which is more suitable for the dynamic coal trade, but TGE and ARP decided to publish more stable and reliable tool. Liquidity of coal trade on Polish market is more similar to the one in FOB Russia Baltic, CIF Japan or FOB Puerto Bolivar areas (in comparison to FOB Newcastle or FOB Indonesia markets).

The last issue was connected with the delivery basis that authors based PSCMI2 on. As long as energy sector is used to negotiate the prices of coal on the EXW Polish mines terms, since they all have long term agreements with the cargo rail operators. Vastly different situation is accustomed among smaller industrial consumers, especially in the city-owned heat&power plants, which are used to receiving full DAP price. The problem is highly visible in the northern and eastern Poland, where imported coal is a serious competition for the domestic coal. Since industrial consumers there are not used to calculate the costs of transportation on their own PSCMI2 is rather useless for them without a parallel rail freight costs calculator (or special freight index, expressed in PLN/km/Mt).

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