Firmer steel prices boost coking coal amid thin trade

Firmer steel prices and perceived demand raised sentiment in the seaborne coking coal market on Wednesday April 9 amid thin trade.

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Many industry participants were travelling on Wednesday, on their way to a conference later this week.

“More buyers are on the bullish side now as steel prices continue to perform,” a trading source told Steel First.

Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $122.99 per tonne on Wednesday, up by $0.58 from Tuesday.

The premium hard coking coal index fob Australia’s DBCT port was $110.22 per tonne, up by $0.01 per tonne from Tuesday.

The cfr hard coking coal index stood at $111.96 per tonne on Wednesday, up by $0.62 from Tuesday. The fob value was $100.76 per tonne, up by $1.38 per tonne on the day.

“Tight credit and weak coke prices are still concerns,” the source added.

Indicative buying interests for top Australian brands inched up to about $124 per tonne cfr China, according to market participants speaking to Steel First. Sellers, on the other hand, were heard pushing up offers for such materials to about $130 per tonne.

“Sellers are not in a rush now,” another trading source said.

The most-traded September coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 886 yuan ($144) per tonne on Wednesday, down from Tuesday’s close of 894 yuan ($145) per tonne.

The most-traded September coke contract also closed lower at 1,264 yuan ($205) per tonne, compared with the previous day’s close of 1,280 yuan ($207) per tonne.

Separately, the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa) released its daily crude steel output estimate for the country over the last eleven days of March, putting it at 2.073 million tonnes, down by 1.1% from the preceding ten days.

Cisa member mills’ combined finished steel inventory totalled 15.42 million tonnes at the end of last month, down by 9.5% from levels seen on March 20 amid improved demand, as the market entered the traditional peak season.