Seaborne coking coal prices edge up amid DCE futures price slump

Seaborne coking coal prices into China showed a modest increase in value on Friday on the back of two firm trades concluded earlier this week, while coking coal futures prices slumped unexpectedly.

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The most-traded May coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,076 yuan ($176) per tonne on Friday, down by 2.5% from Thursday’s close and down from 1,112 yuan ($182) per tonne a week ago.

The most-traded May coke contract on the exchange closed at 1,558 yuan ($255) per tonne, a drop of more than 3% from the previous close of 1,608 yuan ($263) per tonne. The contract closed at 1,618 yuan ($265) per tonne last Friday.

“I don’t understand the market, really, as I was just hearing that the pit price [of coking coal] at Shanxi Province was going up a bit,” a Tianjin-based trading source 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, unchanged from a week ago.

Higher reported transactions of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance brands Peak Downs and Saraji have done little to boost Asian market sentiment. Material was traded at $154-155 and $152 per tonne cfr China respectively earlier this week.

Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold cfr Jingtang pushed up to $149.48 per tonne on December 13, up $0.27 from Thursday.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT Australia were calculated at $136.45 per tonne, up $0.28 per tonne from Thursday.

The price for hard coking coal cfr Jingtang stood at $137.35 per tonne on Friday, down $0.37 per tonne from Thursday’s levels.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was $124.31 per tonne, up $0.02 per tonne.

“I haven’t heard any buying interest from China and all customers a have been looking for prices below $150 per tonne cfr China [for materials like Saraji],” a trading source in Singapore said.

A Beijing-based trader added they would “certainly not buy the materials at those levels”, while another trading source said the prices were within reasonable range as “the market has reached the floor”.