Seaborne coking coal index prices drop on weak sentiment

With bearish sentiment weighing on price expectations, scant trading activity was heard in the seaborne coking coal market on Friday November 22.

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Steel First’s daily index for premium hard coking coal cfr Jingtang was calculated at $152.44 per tonne, down by $1.76 on the day.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT (Australia) were calculated at $141.93 per tonne on Friday, down by $0.59 from levels seen on Thursday.

Hard coking coal prices cfr Jingtang dropped by $0.72 to $141.99 per tonne.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was calculated at $127.25 fob per tonne, down by $0.18 per tonne on the day.

Stock levels at ports are high, a trading source in Beijing told Steel First, so near-term seasonal weather risks in Queensland will not affect decisions to buy cargoes.

“The market seems to be still going down, albeit by a small amount, so I will just wait a little longer,” a Rizhao-based trader said.

Several coking plants in the Tangshan area may face shutdowns if they fail to meet environmental regulations, a mill source in Singapore said.

This could push coke prices up but coking coal prices down due to the reduction in coke production.

A trader in Hong Kong, however, is relatively positive.

“I think the market may see a rebound before the Chinese new year. We’re pretty close to the bottom now,” he said, adding that the week-long holiday in January, coupled with the possible rainy season in Queensland, may prompt some restocking.

The most-traded May coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,123 yuan ($183) on Friday, up by 1 yuan ($0.163) from Thursday’s close.

The most-traded May coke contract closed at 1,612 yuan ($263) on Friday, up by 5 yuan ($0.816) from the previous day.