Activity returns to spot coking coal market with deals at lower prices

Asian seaborne hard coking coal spot prices edged down on Thursday April 10, after a clutch of transactions were reported following a period of low activity,

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Market participants maintained a cautious outlook. and while general sentiment seems to have picked up a little over the past week, trades heard were not concluded much above market levels.

Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $122.59 per tonne on Thursday, down by $0.40 from Wednesday.

The premium hard coking coal index fob Australia’s DBCT port was $110.18 per tonne, down by $0.04 per tonne from Wednesday.

The cfr hard coking coal index stood at $111.72 per tonne on Thursday, down by $0.24 from Wednesday. The fob value was $100.76 per tonne, unchanged day-on-day.

Most market participants remained wary as they believed this uptick will be short-lived.

“There’s no fundamental support for prices to rise much further. Demand remains weak as we are still running at low capacity. Although coking coal inventory levels are not that high, coke stocks are,” a source at a coke plant told Steel First.

Some sellers were heard to have kept offers at levels $7-8 per tonne higher than customers were prepared to pay.

“We’ll see who moves first. If buyers do, prices will go up. If they ignore those offers, prices will remain the same,” a trading source said.

The most-traded September coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 884 yuan ($143) per tonne, down from Wednesday’s close of 886 yuan ($144) per tonne.

The most-traded September coke contract also closed lower at 1,250 yuan ($203) per tonne, compared with the previous close of 1,264 yuan ($205) per tonne.

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

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