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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis edged down to $143.21 per tonne on Wednesday, a fall of $0.64 per tonne compared with Tuesday.

Premium hard coking coal index prices fob Australia’s DBCT port were calculated at $130.35, down by $1.14 on the day.

The price for hard coking coal stood at $132.42 per tonne cfr Jingtang on Tuesday, up by $0.34 from Tuesday.

Hard coking coal prices fob Australia also climbed, moving up by $0.39 per tonne to $120.33 on Tuesday.

“Both demand and general sentiment are weak, so it’s quite risky to take cargoes now,” a trading source in Shandong said.

Market participants speaking to Steel First continued to consider tradable levels for top Australian brands at around $145 per tonne cfr China and second-tier hard coking coal at $130-135 per tonne.

In China, prime hard coking coal from Liulin, Shanxi, was reported quoted at 1,100 yuan ($181) per tonne ex-works, inclusive of VAT, unchanged from a week ago.

The most-traded May coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 983 yuan ($161) per tonne on Wednesday, down from Tuesday’s close of 990 yuan ($163) per tonne.

The most-traded May coke contract closed at 1,388 yuan ($228) per tonne, also down from the previous day’s close of 1,391 yuan ($228) per tonne.

BHP Billiton was reported to have settled February contract prices for premium low-volatility hard coking coal at $135-139 per tonne fob Australia, down by $4 from January settlement levels.

Trading sources quoted Capesize freight rates from DBCT to Jingtang at $9 per tonne per day on Wednesday.