Seaborne coking coal market edges up on unexpected higher trades

The seaborne hard coking coal market edged higher Thursday December 12, with two premium Australian brands reported to have traded earlier this week at higher-than-expected prices.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold cfr Jingtang pushed up to $149.21 per tonne on December 12, up $0.93 from Wednesday.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT Australia were calculated at $136.17 per tonne, unchanged from levels seen on Wednesday.

The price for hard coking coal cfr Jingtang stood at $137.72 per tonne on Thursday, up $0.01 per tonne from Wednesday’s levels.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was $124.29 per tonne, unchanged on the day

Peak Downs was heard traded at $154-155 per tonne cfr China and Saraji was heard traded at $152 per tonne cfr China, both with a laycan of January, but the exact dates could not be confirmed.

Several sources speaking to Steel First viewed the deals as a touch higher than the current market. Buy-side sources said they were only considering Saraji at about $150 per tonne cfr China.

“The market is stable but still weak,” a Singapore-based trader said.

“The demand is not great, but you can still sell,” he added.

While a Rizhao-based trader said the market is close to hitting a bottom, a trader in Dalian city was more bearish. He said the market may fall further after the Chinese New Year (January 31, 2014) as downstream demand typically slows during the winter.

The most-traded May hard coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,103 yuan ($180) per tonne on Thursday, down from Wednesday’s close of 1,105 yuan ($181) per tonne.

The most-traded May coke contract on the exchange closed at 1,608 yuan ($263) per tonne, also down from the previous close of 1,613 yuan ($264) per tonne.