Seaborne hard coking coal prices largely unchanged on thin trading

The Asian seaborne hard coking coal spot market was largely unmoving on Thursday February 13 as buyers continued to stay on the sidelines.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis edged up by $0.19 to $136.93 per tonne.

Premium hard coking coal index prices fob Australia’s DBCT port were unchanged from levels seen on Wednesday, at $127.70 per tonne.

The price for hard coking coal stood at $125.17 per tonne cfr Jingtang, falling by $0.25 on the day.

The index price for hard coking coal fob Australia was also unchanged at $115.86 per tonne.

High inventory levels, weak demand and low domestic coal prices were repeatedly cited by market sources as factors hampering buying interest.

Hebei Iron & Steel Group and Kunming Steel both lowered their purchasing prices for coke by 50 yuan ($8) per tonne, while Hebei Jinxi made a cut of 30 yuan ($5) per tonne.

Earlier this month, Rizhao Steel cut its coke purchasing prices by a total of 90 yuan ($15) per tonne.

Chinese domestic coking coal prices are widely expected to see another round of cuts in March.

The most-traded May coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 921 yuan ($151) per tonne on Thursday, down from 927 yuan ($152) per tonne on Wednesday.

The most-traded May coke contract on the same exchange closed 4 yuan ($0.66) per tonne lower for the day at 1,320 yuan ($216) per tonne.

China’s daily crude steel output during the last eleven days of January stood at 1.964 million tonnes, down by 2.1% from mid-January, according to estimates released by the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa) on Thursday.

Cisa member mills’ combined inventory of finished steel totalled 13.605 million tonnes on January 31, up by 4.3% from January 20 levels, and up by 16.6% from the beginning of the year.

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