Coking coal prices largely static as buyers wait on sidelines

Asian seaborne hard coking coal spot prices remained largely unchanged on Wednesday March 12.

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Market participants preferred to remain on the sidelines after a huge selloff across the commodity complex at the start of the week.

Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $126.64 per tonne on Wednesday, up by $1.60 from levels seen on Tuesday.

The premium hard coking coal index fob Australia’s DBCT port was $114.92, down by $0.25 from Tuesday.

The cfr hard coking coal index stood at $116.60 per tonne, down by $0.17. The fob value was $104.84 per tonne, unchanged from Tuesday.

Most buyers remained reluctant to book cargoes as they are maintaining low inventories. Ample stocks at ports will keep mills running if they have any urgent demand, sources told Steel First.

“I have no intention of making any orders,” a buy-side trading source told Steel First. “Many mills don’t even look at the offers as they have weak demand.”

The futures market saw some technical rebounds on Wednesday, with the most-traded coking coal and coke September contracts both closing higher at 858 yuan ($140) per tonne and 1,220 yuan ($199) per tonne respectively.

This compared with previous respective closes of 844 yuan ($137) and 1,197 yuan ($195) per tonne.

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

In Tangshan, billet was traded at 2,840 yuan ($462) per tonne as of 4pm, up by 10 yuan ($2) per tonne from Tuesday.