[CORRECTED] Asian seaborne coking coal quiet on lack of Chinese buying

The Asian seaborne hard coking coal offers remained largely unchanged on Wednesday March 5, with Chinese buyers remained reluctant to make new bookings.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $133.45 per tonne on Wednesday, down by $0.60 from levels seen on Tuesday.

The premium hard coking coal index fob Australia’s DBCT port was unchanged.

The cfr hard coking coal index stood at $122.31 per tonne, down $0.93 from the previous day. The fob value was unchanged at $112.44 per tonne.

“Seaborne coking coal only supplements domestic supplies in China, and import prices may fall further, following the domestic trend,” a trader in Hebei province said.

Enquiries from steel mills or coke plants were also light.

“Many coking coal consumers turned to buy from the ports, instead of making new bookings with miners, now that the market is in a downtrend,” the first trader said.

Offers directly from miners remained firm, of which some market participants attributed to the steady demand from South Korea, Japan and India.

The second session of China’s twelfth National People’s Congress began today, during which Premier Li Keqiang set China’s GDP growth target at 7.5% for the year, compared with 7.7% released in 2013.

Steel market sentiment was lifted slightly today, as the market is expecting a clearer signal from the annual legislature meeting, but little was reflected on the coking coal market.

The most-traded May coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 892 yuan ($145) per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged from the previous trading day.

The most-traded September coke contract on the same exchange closed at 1,238 yuan ($202) per tonne, unchanged from the previous trading day.

The yuan prices are the equivalent of cfr prices plus 17% VAT and port charges of about 35 yuan ($6).

[The fourth paragraph of this article was amended on March 6 to reflect the correct price movement of $0.93 for the cfr hard coking coal index]

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