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Steel First’s daily index for premium hard coking coal cfr Jingtang was calculated at $152.44 per tonne, down by $1.76 on the day.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT (Australia) were calculated at $141.93 per tonne on Friday, down by $0.59 from levels seen on Thursday.

Hard coking coal prices cfr Jingtang dropped by $0.72 to $141.99 per tonne.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was calculated at $127.25 fob per tonne, down by $0.18 per tonne on the day.

Stock levels at ports are high, a trading source in Beijing told Steel First, so near-term seasonal weather risks in Queensland will not affect decisions to buy cargoes.

“The market seems to be still going down, albeit by a small amount, so I will just wait a little longer,” a Rizhao-based trader said.

Several coking plants in the Tangshan area may face shutdowns if they fail to meet environmental regulations, a mill source in Singapore said.

This could push coke prices up but coking coal prices down due to the reduction in coke production.

A trader in Hong Kong, however, is relatively positive.

“I think the market may see a rebound before the Chinese new year. We’re pretty close to the bottom now,” he said, adding that the week-long holiday in January, coupled with the possible rainy season in Queensland, may prompt some restocking.

The most-traded May coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,123 yuan ($183) on Friday, up by 1 yuan ($0.163) from Thursday’s close.

The most-traded May coke contract closed at 1,612 yuan ($263) on Friday, up by 5 yuan ($0.816) from the previous day.