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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $120.15 per tonne, down by $0.56 per tonne on the day.

The cfr Jingtang hard coking coal index was down by $0.79 to $107.63 per tonne.

The fob Australia premium hard coking coal index drifted $0.07 lower to $114.42 per tonne, while the fob Australia hard coking coal index went up by $0.22 to $102.21 per tonne.

“We have a lot of inventory and are still in the process of decreasing stock levels. We haven’t been in the market for almost two months and I don’t think we’re going back there any time soon,” a mill source told Steel First.

“My customers have no buying interest at all. The market has been quiet and I can’t find any factors that could potentially support it,” a sell-side trading source said.

Indicative bids for top Australian brands were heard about $120 per tonne cfr China while those for second-tier hard coking coal were at the low to middle $100s per tonne cfr.

Separately, Chinese customs on Tuesday released data showing a 9.5% year-on-year decline and a 9.1% month-on-month drop in coking coal imports in May, to 5.88 million tonnes.

China imported a total of 25.32 million tonnes of the steelmaking raw material over the first five months of 2014, down by 17.3% on the year, according to the data.

In Japan, quarterly benchmark negotiations continued on Tuesday with the settlement widely expected at $120-122 per tonne fob Australia.

The most-traded September coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 806 yuan ($130.74) per tonne on Tuesday, down from Monday’s close of 809 yuan ($131.23) per tonne.

The most-traded September coke contract closed slightly higher at 1,142 yuan ($185.25) per tonne, compared with the previous day’s close of 1,140 yuan ($184.92) per tonne.

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