COKING COAL DAILY: Seaborne prices steady; production little affected by new Covid-19 cases

Seaborne coking coal prices in both fob and cfr markets were relatively steady on Friday January 8 due to a lack of spot trades, while producer sources said the recent resurgence of Covid-19 infections in Hebei province is yet to affect the production of coke.

Fastmarkets indices
Premium hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $103.93 per tonne, down $0.06 per tonne
Premium hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $208.18 per tonne, down $0.01 per tonne
Hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $94.31 per tonne, up $0.84 per tonne
Hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $195.03 per tonne, unchanged

No transactions were heard on Friday January 8.

On Globalcoal platform, a February-laycan cargo of premium mid-volatility hard coking coal was bid at $98 per tonne fob Australia, while a March-laycan cargo of premium low-volatility hard coking coal was bid at $101 per tonne fob Australia today.

“Major coal miners in Australia didn’t offer any spot cargoes this week, so the fob market has been very quiet. Though it’s rainy in Northern Queensland, Australia, there are no signs of a production slowdown,” a trader source based in Singapore said.

On the other hand, a trader source from India did not rule out the possibility that rainfall in the coking coal hub of Queensland could affect mining operations or railway transport.

In the cfr market, seaborne coking coal supply was relatively tight, with Australian coal banned from entering China since October last year. Except for two transactions of premium hard coking coal sealed at $211 and $209 per tonne cfr China, no other trades had been heard so far this week.

In China, there has been a resurgence in Covid-19 infections in the coke producing hub of Hebei province. There have been 127 confirmed infections and 183 asymptomatic cases this week at the time of writing.

This is a big increase compared with the recent single digit increases per day in the whole country, according to data released by National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China.

A coke producer source there said that parts of the highways used for transporting coking coal from Shanxi province to Hebei province have been affected by closures, but the cokery still has enough storage.

“There isn’t much impact on the production,” he added.

Dalian Commodity Exchange
The most-traded May coking coal futures contract closed at 1,772 yuan ($273.91) per tonne on Friday, up by 42.50 yuan per tonne.

The most-traded May coke contract closed at 2,922.50 yuan per tonne, down by 76 yuan per tonne.