Bid/offer spread for seaborne coking coal widens

The Asian seaborne hard coking coal market was muted on Monday December 9 as weak demand and high levels of port stock continued to deter buyers.

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Index prices edged lower on weak bids and assessments, driven by slack demand.

Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold cfr Jingtang stood at $148.84 per tonne on December 9, down $1.43 from Friday.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT Australia were calculated at $137.58 per tonne, down $1.54 from Friday.

The price for hard coking coal cfr Jingtang stood at $138.09 per tonne on Monday, down $1.15 per tonne from levels seen on Friday.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was $124.29 per tonne, unchanged on the day.

“The gap between bids and offers is big and it’s difficult to make things work at the moment,” a sell-side trading source told Steel First.

“Most people remain absent from the market as term negotiations are still going on. Buyers may be waiting to see what comes out of the negotiations,” an Australian producing source said.

A total of 5.06 million tonnes of coking coal was reportedly sitting at the Jingtang port on Monday, down from 5.25 million tonnes a week ago. Inventories at Rizhao port, however, rose to 2.26 million tonnes from 2.16 million tonnes last Monday.

Separately, China exported 680,000 tonnes of metallurgical coke in November, up 30.8% month-on-month.

China's total exports for the first 11 months of 2013 reached 3.92 million tonnes, according to preliminary customs data released at the weekend.

The most-traded May hard coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,109 yuan ($181) per tonne on Monday, down from Friday’s close of 1,112 yuan ($182) per tonne.

The most-traded May coke futures contract on the exchange closed at 1,618 yuan ($264) per tonne, unchanged from Friday’s level.

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