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Steel mills and coking plants in China shunned recent price falls as they continue to take a wait-and-see approach against a backdrop of plentiful supply.
Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $126.16 per tonne on Thursday, down by $0.48 from levels seen on Wednesday.
The premium hard coking coal index fob Australia’s DBCT port was $114.91, down by $0.01 from Wednesday.
The cfr hard coking coal index stood at $116.02 per tonne, down by $0.58. The fob value was $104.84 per tonne, unchanged from Tuesday.
“I have no demand for spot cargoes now so it doesn’t make sense to me to buy anything, even though prices have declined,” a mill source told Steel First.
“The market has only somewhat stabilised in the past two days. Buyers are waiting to see whether prices hold firm for a while longer before they make purchases,” a buy-side trading source said.
Market participants speaking to Steel First considered tradable levels for top Australian brands at $125-128 per tonne cfr China and second-tier hard coking coal around $114-117 per tonne.
The most-traded September coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 853 yuan ($139) per tonne on Thursday, down from Wednesday’s close of 858 yuan ($140) per tonne.
The most-traded September coke contract closed at 1,226 yuan ($200) per tonne, up from the previous close of 1,220 yuan ($199) per tonne.
The yuan prices are equivalent of cfr prices plus 17% VAT and port charges of around 35 yuan ($6).
Hard coking coal prices remained largely stable into Asia and out of Asutralia on Thursday March 13, with significant price drops halted amid slack trade.