Spot coking coal prices into China ease on thin buying interest

The spot seaborne coking coal market saw prices weaken on Thursday November 7 amid low buying interest.

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Steel First’s index for premium hard coking coal on a cfr Jingtang basis was calculated at $158.54 per tonne on November 7, down $0.55 from levels seen on Wednesday.

Hard coking coal cfr Jingtang was calculated down by $3.69 on the day at $141.27 per tonne.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT (Australia) were calculated at $145.64 per tonne on Wednesday, down $0.69 from levels seen on Wednesday.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was calculated at $128.15 fob per tonne, down by $1.42 per tonne on the day.

An on-the-water cargo of top quality premium Australian hard coking coal was heard traded at $160 cfr China.

A second cargo of premium hard coking coal was heard traded at 1,135 yuan Jnigtang port including VAT and port charges.

“It’s quite risky to buy at the moment because downstream demand is just not strong,” a Shanghai-based trading source told Steel First.

Given that steel mills have the option of sourcing materials from local coal producers without paying upfront, or restocking from the currently ample port inventories, there is less incentive to buy imported material on the spot market, the trader said.

A Beijing-based trader also said that port sales activity had been limited.

Offers of top Australian brands were heard to have come down by around $2 from levels seen last week, but indicative bids drifted lower. Most market participants are still adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

The most-traded May hard coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange settled at 1,127 yuan ($184) per tonne on Thursday, up from 1,126 yuan ($183) per tonne on Wednesday. The most-traded May coke contract settled at 1,595 yuan ($259) per tonne, down from 1,596 yuan ($260) per tonne a day earlier.