LONDON (Commodity Online): A new record was established in April, as ICE Coal Futures volumes exceeded all previous levels with over 146 million tonnes (146,445 lots) cleared via ICE Clear Europe.

The volume is a full 37.7 million tonnes above the previous record of 108,730 lots established in January this year, and 2.7 times as much as traded in April 2009.

In a statement issued by the globalCOAL Eoghan Cunningham, CEO of the company said, The current volatility we are seeing in coal prices is pushing more and more participants towards the financial coal market.

At contract level, the ICE Rotterdam contract traded in record volumes, at 97 million tonnes. The Richards Bay and Newcastle coal Futures contracts traded a respective 36 and 12.8 million tonnes. These are the second highest monthly volumes for both of the FOB contracts.

This intrinsic growth is also being facilitated by clearing, enabling all market players, whether hedger or speculator, to mitigate their counterparty credit risk as they build up activity in the coal market, Cunningham added.

Open interest across the portfolio also rose to record levels, closing the month just under 126 million tonnes. This compares to 51 million tonnes at the end of April 2009, a growth of 144% year on year.