Seaborne coking coal prices steady to soft ahead of Christmas holiday

The spot seaborne hard coking coal market was largely steady on Monday December 23, although sentiment remained bearish.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis edged down to $148.93 per tonne on December 23, down $0.05 per tonne from Friday.

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

The price for hard coking coal cfr Jingtang stood at $136.11 per tonne on Thursday, down $0.03 per tonne from Friday’s levels.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was $124.01 per tonne,unchanged from levels seen on Friday.

“Tthe market will continue to soften as there is ample supply at the moment. Demand is there, but it’s just not strong enough,” a Beijing-based trading source told Steel First.

A total of 5.2 million tonnes of coking coal was reportedly sitting at the Jingtang port on Monday, up from 5.18 million tonnes seen a week ago. Stockpiles at Rizhao port rose to 2.28 million tonnes from 2.23 million tonnes last Monday.

“Steel prices are also weak, so I don’t see any reason for [coking coal] prices to go up,” the trader added.

China imported 6.6 million tonnes of coking coal in November, according to Chinese customs data released on Monday. Total imports of the steelmaking raw material during the first 11 months of the year stood at 67.38 million tonnes, up 46.6% from the corresponding period in 2012.

The most-traded May coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,044 yuan ($171) per tonne on Monday, down 3 yuan ($0.50) from Friday’s close.

The most-traded May coke contract on the same exchange closed at 1,516 yuan ($248) per tonne, a drop of 20 yuan ($3) from the previous close.