Seaborne coking coal market anxious about longevity of supply constraints

Offers on premium hard coking coal cargoes continue to be heard around $300 per tonne fob China basis, market participants said on Tuesday April 11.

“The Blackwater rail system [in Queensland, Australia], connecting to the Port of Gladstone, restarted today with speed limitations,” a buyer source said.

“We are concerned about how soon the rail systems will return to normal operations and the queues of vessels forming at the ports as these will delay deliveries,” he added.

“For buyers in India, the waiting time for US coal is over a month; I think they will have to pay prices close to $300 per tonne eventually for coal from other nearby places such as China with inventories depleting quickly,” another buyer source said.

“If you need an April or May arrival cargo, you have to look to Chinese suppliers now,” a seller source said.

A steel mill source in China said that they were not keen to offer cargoes overseas anymore "as we do not want to be caught without materials".

On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the most-traded September coking coal futures contract closed at 1,216 yuan ($175.98) per tonne, down 48.5 yuan ($7.03) per tonne. The most-traded coke contract closed at 1,736 yuan (251.23) per tonne, down 61 yuan ($8.83) per tonne.

Metal Bulletin's cfr China premium hard coking coal index was flat at $191.72 per tonne while on fob Australia basis the index rose $18.59 per tonne to $299.84 per tonne.

Metal Bulletin's cfr China hard coking coal index was flat at $168.02 per tonne while on fob Australia basis, the index rose $5.46 per tonne to $260.17 per tonne.

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