Thin trading sees seaborne coking coal prices remain rangebound

Prices on China’s imported coking coal market were largely unchanged on Friday November 15 on a dearth of fresh trades.

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Prices for premium hard coking coal cfr Jingtang were calculated at $157.28 per tonne, down by $0.34 on the day.

Hard coking coal prices cfr Jingtang moved slightly higher and were calculated at $142.33 per tonne, down by $0.33 on the day.

Premium hard coking coal prices fob DBCT (Australia) were calculated at $142.52 per tonne on Friday, down by $0.20 from levels seen on Thursday.

Hard coking coal fob DBCT was calculated at $127.01 fob per tonne, down by $0.64 per tonne on the day.

Market sentiment remains bearish and sources speaking to Steel First said that European mills were out of the market and not expected to return until after next week’s Carbon Forum industry meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

Sources in Asia said that mills were waiting for prices to fall further.

“Many Chinese mills are buying coking coal from miners directly and demand is not good, so I am not going to place any orders right now,” a trader in Tianjin said.

“The offers for Saraji and Peak Downs [material] remain around $161 per tonne cfr China but, as far as I know, transactions can be done lower than that,” he added.

A Singapore-based trader disputed that transactions for top-quality material would conclude as low as $155 per tonne cfr, saying that while bids may come in at that level, producers were reluctant to let prices slide too quickly.

“I am bearish on the outlook since demand is not good,” a mill source in eastern China told Steel First.

“The consumption boom in winter is for steam coal, not for coking coal, so I am not very positive on the outlook,” he added.

The most-traded May hard coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,117 yuan ($182) per tonne, down by 8 yuan ($1) per tonne from Thursday’s close.

The most-traded May coke contract on the same exchange closed at 1,585 yuan ($258) per tonne, down by 13 yuan ($2) per tonne from the previous day’s close.