Plentiful supplies depress premium seaborne hard coking coal prices

Plentiful seaborne coking coal supplies saw index prices for premium brands edge down on Tuesday January 14, although slightly higher offers saw hard coking coal index prices post a slight recovery.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis edged down to $143.85 per tonne on Tuesday, a fall of $0.23 per tonne compared with Monday.

Premium hard coking coal index prices fob Australia’s DBCT port were calculated at $131.49, down $0.22 from levels seen on Monday.

The price for hard coking coal stood at $132.04 per tonne cfr Jingtang on Tuesday, up by $0.23 from Friday.

Hard coking coal prices fob Australia also climbed, moving up by $1.10 per tonne to $119.94 on Tuesday.

“Bearish sentiment is still keeping people away from the market. No one would want to buy if they think the market [might] fall further,” a trading source in Singapore told Steel First.

Transactions are few and far between, but supplies in the market remain abundant, sources reported.

“The market overall is very weak. Many customers are out of the market simply because stock levels are high,” another trader said.

A total of 4.99 million tonnes of coking coal is reportedly sitting at the Jingtang port, up from 4.88 million tonnes last week. Rizhao port has 2.16 million tonnes of inventory, down from 2.29 million tonnes last week.

The most-traded May coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 990 yuan ($163) per tonne on Tuesday, up from Monday’s close of 982 yuan ($161) per tonne. The most-traded May coke contract closed at 1,391 yuan ($228) per tonne, also up from the previous day’s close of 1,372 yuan ($225) per tonne.

US coal rail operator Norfolk Southern lifted a force majeure on rail shipments on Monday January 13, after severe weather halted all traffic originating, terminating or moving through the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Pennyslvania last week. 

East Coast coal producers were reported to be aggressively offering medium and high volatility material to the domestic and European markets.

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