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Many industry participants were travelling on Wednesday, on their way to a conference later this week.
“More buyers are on the bullish side now as steel prices continue to perform,” a trading source told Steel First.
Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $122.99 per tonne on Wednesday, up by $0.58 from Tuesday.
The premium hard coking coal index fob Australia’s DBCT port was $110.22 per tonne, up by $0.01 per tonne from Tuesday.
The cfr hard coking coal index stood at $111.96 per tonne on Wednesday, up by $0.62 from Tuesday. The fob value was $100.76 per tonne, up by $1.38 per tonne on the day.
“Tight credit and weak coke prices are still concerns,” the source added.
Indicative buying interests for top Australian brands inched up to about $124 per tonne cfr China, according to market participants speaking to Steel First. Sellers, on the other hand, were heard pushing up offers for such materials to about $130 per tonne.
“Sellers are not in a rush now,” another trading source said.
The most-traded September coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 886 yuan ($144) per tonne on Wednesday, down from Tuesday’s close of 894 yuan ($145) per tonne.
The most-traded September coke contract also closed lower at 1,264 yuan ($205) per tonne, compared with the previous day’s close of 1,280 yuan ($207) per tonne.
Separately, the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa) released its daily crude steel output estimate for the country over the last eleven days of March, putting it at 2.073 million tonnes, down by 1.1% from the preceding ten days.
Cisa member mills’ combined finished steel inventory totalled 15.42 million tonnes at the end of last month, down by 9.5% from levels seen on March 20 amid improved demand, as the market entered the traditional peak season.
Firmer steel prices and perceived demand raised sentiment in the seaborne coking coal market on Wednesday April 9 amid thin trade.