Seaborne premium hard coking coal prices subdued as buyers hold back

Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold cfr Jingtang stood at $149.86 per tonne on December 4, down by $1.09 from Tuesday.

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The seaborne hard coking coal market was stable on Wednesday December 4 as buyers continued to hold back.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT Australia were calculated at $139.88 per tonne, unchanged from Tuesday.

The price for hard coking coal cfr Jingtang stood at $139.06 per tonne on Wednesday, down $1.13 from Tuesday.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was $125.08 per tonne, up by $0.99 per tonne on the day.

“Our demand [for imported materials] remains weak as we have ample supply from the domestic market,” the purchasing manager for a major Chinese steel mill told Steel First.

“It’s not even about the prices now. I have a lot of stocks at ports so I don’t want to buy anything,” a Rizhao-based trader said.

“I’m not looking to buy anything until the Chinese New Year. I think I can go on leave already,” a trader in Shanghai said.

Tight credit was cited as another reason for the limited activity in the market.

“I have customers who do have the demand but they just don’t have the cash,” a trading source in Tianjin city said.

On the supply front, several miners were heard to have started offering January-loading cargoes.

The most-traded hard coking coal futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the ‘May’ contract, closed at 1,124 yuan ($183) per tonne on Wednesday, up from Tuesday’s close of 1,111 yuan ($181) per tonne.

The most-traded ‘May’ coke contract closed at 1,637 yuan ($267) per tonne on the same exchange, also up from the previous day’s closing price of 1,625 yuan ($265) per tonne.