Premium hard seaborne coking coal indices edge up despite bearish sentiment

Seaborne premium hard coking coal indices edged higher on Friday December 20, despite bearish sentiment in the spot seaborne hard coking coal market.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis pushed up to $150.32 per tonne on December 20, up $0.79 per tonne from Thursday.

Premium hard coking coal prices on an fob DBCT Australia basis were calculated at $135.53 per tonne, up $0.12 from Thursday.

The price for hard coking coal cfr Jingtang stood at $136.14 per tonne on Thursday, down $0.18 per tonne from Thursday’s levels.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was $124.01 per tonne, down $0.32 per tonne from levels seen on Thursday.

Most Chinese buyers expect domestic prices to fall further after the Chinese New Year and are, therefore, unwilling to make any move, traders told Steel First.

Prime hard coking coal from Liulin, Shanxi province was reportedly quoted at 1,110 yuan ($181) per tonne ex-works inclusive of VAT on Friday, unchanged from a week ago.

“Buyers are not active now. It’s hard to sell,” a trading source in Dalian city said.

The most-traded May coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,047 yuan ($171) per tonne on Friday, a drop of 24 yuan ($4) from Thursday’s close down 2.7% from a week ago.

The most-traded May coke contract on the exchange closed at 1,536 yuan ($251) per tonne, down 21 yuan ($3) from the previous day’s close and 1.4% lower from a week earlier.

On the first-quarter benchmark negotiation front, Anglo American and Japanese mills have settled German Creek at $143 per tonne fob Australia and Moranbah North at $139 per tonne fob.

Analysts at Standard Bank said the settlement levels were ‘well above market expectations’.

Details of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s settlements with Japan were still unavailable at the time of publication.