Weak demand sees seaborne coking coal prices edge lower

Sentiment in the seaborne hard coking coal spot market eroded further on Monday December 30 amid thin trading.

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Steel First’s premium hard coking coal index for material sold on a cfr Jingtang basis edged down to $147.04 per tonne during the day, down $1.67 per tonne from Friday.

The price for hard coking coal stood at $135.28 per tonne cfr Jingtang on Monday, down $0.88 per tonne from Friday’s levels.

“The market has been pretty weak and the demand is still low,” a trading source in Dalian city told Steel First.

With sales difficult to conclude, many sellers having no choice but to wait until after the Chinese New Year for sales to pick up again, the source said. However, the outlook for that period remains bearish as well, according to market participants.

“I have no interest in buying anything at all, not even at lower prices,” a mill source said.

Market participants speaking to Steel First have considerably lowered their indicative bids for top Australian brands to the low-to-mid $140s per tonne cfr China.

Ample port stockpiles and tight credit continued to be cited as factors hampering trading.

A total of 5.11 million tonnes of coking coal was reportedly sitting at Jingtang port on Monday, down from 5.2 million tonnes seen a week ago. Rizhao port’s inventory continued to rise to 2.32 million tonnes, from 2.28 million tonnes recorded last week.

The most-traded May coking coal contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 1,022 yuan ($167) per tonne on Monday, down from Friday’s close of 1,035 yuan ($169) per tonne. The most-traded May coke contract on the exchange closed at 1,487 yuan ($243) per tonne, also down from the close of 1,510 yuan ($247) per tonne on the previous trading day.

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