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This was 4% higher than settlement levels for the third quarter, it added.

NWR achieved third-quarter prices of €82 ($103) per tonne.

“The average coking coal price is based on expectations that coking coal sales for the fourth quarter of 2014 will be split about 37% mid-volatility hard coking coal, 47% semi-soft coking coal and 16% pulverised coal injection [PCI] coking coal,” NWR said.

Coking coal prices remain depressed, despite producers achieving slightly higher settlement prices quarter-on-quarter for the last three months of 2014.

Spot prices for premium high-quality coking coal have fallen from close to $160 per tonne cfr China a year ago to just over $120 per tonne at the end of October. 

Ratings agency Moody’s said in a research note on Friday that a slower-than-expected implementation of cuts to high-cost production, and a weakening picture of growth in China, meant that a price recovery in the coking coal market would be unlikely until 2016.