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Index prices edged up on transactions heard completed at the higher end of established ranges, but sources said that buyers’ needs were largely covered to the end of the year and they remained bearish on prices.

Prices for premium hard coking coal cfr Jingtang were calculated up by $1.02 on the day at $159.56 per tonne. Hard coking coal prices cfr Jingtang were calculated at $142.08 per tonne, an increase of $0.81 on the day.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT (Australia) were calculated at $145.79 per tonne on Friday, up by $0.81 from levels seen on Wednesday.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was calculated at $128.15 fob per tonne, down by $1.42 per tonne on the day.

Freight costs from Queensland to Jingtang were quoted to Steel First at $13 per tonne per day on Friday.

“The majority of buyers remained on the sidelines today and were reluctant to make new bookings,” a trader in Tianjin said.

A cargo of Carborough Downs coking coal was offered at $130 per tonne fob Australia, laycan November 20, he added.

A cargo of German Creek premium hard coking coal was heard sold at $160-161 per tonne.

Assessments of premium hard coking were in the range of $160-161 per tonne cfr China.

Coking coal inventories at steel mills, coke plants and Chinese ports are all at high levels, due to slack demand.

“There’s little buying interest for cargoes at ports, let alone those at sea,” a trader in Hebei province said.

The most-traded May hard coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) closed at 1,114 yuan ($181) per tonne on Friday, down by 16 yuan ($3) per tonne from the previous day’s close.

The most-traded May coke contract on the DCE closed at 1,567 yuan ($255) per tonne on Friday, down by 26 yuan ($4) per tonne from Thursday’s close.