COKING COAL DAILY: New brands offered in cfr market; demand limited

The premium hard coking coal price stayed largely flat in both the cfr and fob markets on Friday April 9 due to weak demand from end-users, market sources told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets indices
Premium hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $114.71 per tonne, down $0.25 per tonne
Premium hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $213.65 per tonne, up $0.13 per tonne
Hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $108.12 per tonne, unchanged
Hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $198.73 per tonne, up $0.04 per tonne

There is more seaborne coking coal from South Africa and South America being offered to Chinese buyers in the cfr market recently while most market participants are looking for replacements for Australia coking coal and the elevated cfr prices are attracting various suppliers to China.

Some large steel mills, however, remain cautious of procuring new brands of seaborne coking coal even though some prices were lower compared to north America-origin cargoes, Fastmarkets heard.

“The primary target is to assure metallurgical coke quality with proper coking coal or it will affect blast furnace operations and the furnace itself,” a mill source from north China said.

Other end-users were hesitant or not ready to procure American coking coal because of the large volume for each ship while a few may look for combination cargoes with other buyers, market sources said.

“It takes time to find ‘proper’ buyers for combination cargoes, considering the unloading costs and time at two different ports,” a Tangshan-based steel mill said.

May-laycan America premium hard coking coal (PHCC) was on offer at about $216 per tonne cfr China, yet the bid level was much lower than the offering level, market sources said.

One mill source in northeast China was heard to have started procuring seaborne PHCC via tender this week, yet no results were reported as of Friday.

In the fob coking coal market, both sellers and buyers were on the sideline with no firm deals of premium hard coking coal reported.

“The market became a bit poor at the end of the week but we didn’t see any clear buying interest in the spot market after deals earlier in the week,” a Singapore-based trader said.

There are not many resources of Australia hard coking coal in the spot market of late after major volumes were shipped to satiate long-term contracts and most market sources tended to buy premium cargoes, market participants said.

Dalian Commodity Exchange
The most-traded May coking coal futures contract closed at 1,573 yuan ($240.13) per tonne on Friday, up by 16.50 yuan per tonne.

The most-traded May coke contract closed at 2,366.50 yuan per tonne, down by 24.50 yuan per tonne.

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