China's coking coal import prices continue to rise ahead of leadership change

China’s imported coking coal market continues to see prices increase as the country awaits the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to kick off next week.

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Premium hard coking coal traded at about $163.50-165 per tonne cfr China, up $1-2 from last week, traders told Steel First.

Russian coking coal K10 was said to have changed hands at about $145 per tonne cfr China, some $10 up from prices seen three weeks ago.

“I think the prices will stay firm for November, but it’s hard to say where the market will go in December,” a Rizhao-based trader said.

He added that there is still some room for prices to increase, but it would not be huge.

“Under the current political environment, the market must be good,” said another Rizhao-based trader. “I think the government will do something to make people feel more confident.”

A Singapore-based trader said the recent price rise may be just a “temporary phenomenon”.

“I don’t think there’s genuine strength in the market that will lead to price rise. The current trend mostly could be because of restocking or because the prices had come down drastically,” he said.

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