Asian coking coal market steady on thin trade ahead of Chinese holiday

Coking coal prices in the Asian seaborne market held steady on Thursday September 25, with no fresh trades reported.

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A wide variety of cargoes continues to be offered into the Chinese spot market, but with many market participants busy at conferences, buying appetite has fallen short of last week’s rush to trade.

Market participants are occupied at the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa) conference in Dalian in the north of China and at the Coaltrans conference in Seoul, South Korea.

A trader said that he had offered a cargo of top tier Australian premium hard coking coal at the beginning of the week at $123.50 per tonne cfr China, but was not expecting it to be sold this week.

“What with the conferences and China’s Golden Week holiday coming up, there just isn’t really anyone around who wants to commit to cargoes,” the trader said.

China’s week-long national holiday runs from October 1-7.

The last confirmed trade reported to Steel First was a cargo of the same top tier premium hard coking coal sold at $123 per tonne cfr China earlier this week, directly by the producer to a major Chinese mill.

A cargo of South Walker PCI heard sold earlier this week at $99 per tonne cfr, was confirmed to have been sold by a trader to a Chinese customer on an fob basis at $90 per tonne with $9 freight. 

Steel First's cfr Jingtang premium hard coking coal index was calculated at $121.60 per tonne on Thursday, up by $0.24 from Wednesday's level.

The cfr Jingtang hard coking coal index was unchanged at $108.03 per tonne.

The fob Australia premium hard coking coal index dropped by $0.53 to $111.03 per tonne, while the fob Australia hard coking coal index was unchanged.

On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the most-traded January coking coal futures contract closed at 773 yuan ($126) per tonne on Wednesday, up from Tuesday's close of 787 yuan ($128) per tonne.

The most-traded January coke contract also closed up, at 1,052 yuan ($171) per tonne, compared with the previous trading day's close of 1,068 yuan ($173) per tonne.

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

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