Asian coking coal prices slide further as buyers hold back

The Asian seaborne hard coking coal spot market remained weak on Tuesday March 11 as market participants digested the price falls of the past couple of days.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $126.29 per tonne on Tuesday, down by $1.60 from levels seen on Monday.

The premium hard coking coal index fob Australia’s DBCT port was $115.17, down by $1.75 from Monday.

The cfr hard coking coal index stood at $116.77 per tonne, down by $1.26. The fob value was $104.84 per tonne, down by $1.45 from Monday.

“No one dares to take cargoes now, and buyers are not willing to give any indicative countering bids,” a trading source in Shanghai told Steel First. Most buyers are maintaining a wait-and-see approach, he added.

Market sources said that they expect prices to fall further as supply remains “a lot higher” than demand.

A total of 4.89 million tonnes of coking coal was reportedly sitting at Jingtang port on Monday, compared with 4.85 million tonnes a week ago. Stockpiles at Rizhao port totalled 2 million tonnes of inventories, compared with 2.1 million tonnes last Monday.

A lack of positive news on China’s economy in the wake of the country’s first bond default and the depreciation of the yuan have also affected the country’s ability to take cargoes, sources added.

Prime hard coking coal from Liulin, Shanxi, was reported quoted at 1,000 yuan ($163) per tonne ex-works inclusive of VAT on Tuesday, down by 20 yuan ($3) from Monday.

The most traded May coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 812 yuan ($132) per tonne on Tuesday, down from Monday’s close of 821 yuan ($134) per tonne.

The most-traded September coke contract closed at 1,197 yuan ($195) per tonne, also down from the previous close of 1,204 yuan ($196) per tonne.

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