COKING COAL DAILY: Seaborne premium prices edge down amid spot market lull

Seaborne premium hard coking coal prices edged down on Friday October 23, with market participants from China unable to purchase Australian coking coal while sources from India were in wait-and-see mode.

Fastmarkets indices
Premium hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $113.25 per tonne, down $0.49 per tonne
Premium hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $126.05 per tonne, down $0.73 per tonne
Hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $102.52 per tonne, down $2.50 per tonne
Hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $111.51 per tonne, down $4 per tonne

No transactions were heard on Friday October 23, sources told Fastmarkets.

One buyer source from India said that Indian steel mills are waiting to see if premium hard coking coal prices will decline.

“With China out of the picture, the spot market is inactive. Indian demand for spot cargoes is limited because India relies more on long-term contracts,” the source said.

A steel mill source based in East Asia said that the company had received several offers of Australian coking coal from traders.

“Those cargoes [of Australian coking coal] were purchased by market participants from China and now they’re in a hurry to get rid of that material due to the verbal notice to halt Australian imports of coking coal,” the steel mill source said.

The source was referring to the verbal notice from Chinese authorities in early October that informed domestic market participants to stop imports of Australian coal, coking coal and thermal coal. The source heard that the reason for halting Australian coal imports was that [Australian coal] import quotas for this year had been exhausted.

He added that the steel mill is unable to buy those cargoes of Australian coking coal because the company’s long-term contracts signed with Australian miners can well satisfy its demand.

One trader source based in Australia said that a steel mill in northeast China had sold one of their cargoes of Australian premium low-volatility hard coking coal, which was already at sea, to a buyer in Japan, although he could not confirm the details of the transaction.

The trader source lowered his estimates for premium low-vol and premium mid-volatility hard coking coal by $1 per tonne cfr China respectively.

Dalian Commodity Exchange
The most-traded January coking coal futures contract closed at 1,346.50 yuan ($201.65) per tonne on Friday, down by 8.50 yuan per tonne.

The most-traded January coke contract closed at 2,118.50 yuan per tonne, down by 18.50 yuan per tonne.

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