Seaborne coking coal prices stayed largely stable in the cfr market on Monday July 12 and climbed up in the fob market because some buyers started to procure on a demand basis, sources told Fastmarkets.
Premium hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $210.53 per tonne, up $3.66 per tonne
Premium hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $308.80 per tonne, up $0.84 per tonne
Hard coking coal, fob DBCT: $174.92 per tonne, up $1 per tonne
Hard coking coal, cfr Jingtang: $268.05 per tonne, up $1.74 per tonne
In China, domestic premium low-volatility and low-sulfur hard coking coal prices held steady in the week to July 12 while local coal mines reopened slowly from their close in the week to July 2. The offers for some low-quality domestic coking coal slightly decreased to draw buying interest, market sources said.
The resumption of Shanxi’s coal mines is slower than some market participants expected; some may have until July 15 to reopen, according to a government notice.
“It is unclear whether major coal mines are able to run at high operation rates after July 15, and Mongolian coking coal transportation is also impacted by their national holidays,” a Shanghai-based trader noted.
Coke producers and steel mills were also cautious in coking coal procurement due to the expectation of a weaker coke price if mills cut steelmaking production in the short term.
Fastmarkets’ assessed the price of hard coking coal domestic China spot market, Shanxi-origin, delivered Tangshan at 1,900-2,350 yuan ($293-$263) per tonne on July 12, flat week on week.
Imported coking coal continued to face short-term supply tightness after multiple major Mongolia coking coal export ports closed for national holidays from July 11 to 15, market sources said.
Offers for the United States-origin coking coal cargoes held steady, with premium low-volatility (PLV) hard coking coal at about $312-$313 cfr China, and the second-tier segment at about $280 per tonne cfr China.
A mill source from south China noted that if the transaction price of PLV reaches above $300 per tonne cfr China, large steel mills and traders will be more cautious in procurement via fixed prices.
“Mills may try to rely more on term cargoes or domestic replacements and only procure when there is necessary demand,” the source added.
The fob coking coal market stayed strong on Monday with new buying interest for October-loaded cargoes, whose bids are lower than those with August-laycan cargoes, market sources said.
An India-based coke producer said the recent demand for premium low-volatility (PLV) hard coking coal is relatively good but the producer is uncertain of the demand’s source.
“Major mills may start procurement when monsoon season comes to an end, it’s risky for them to take cargoes at the current level,” the source said.
A few market participants said the demand from speculative traders and ex-Asia end-users for Australia coking coal has increased recently.
A 75,000-tonne of premium low-volatility was traded at $210 per tonne fob Australia on July 9, with laycan August 16-25.
“We are not sure about the buyers for recent high-priced transactions, but major buyers from Asia didn’t give such high bids,” a trader source from India said.
Dalian Commodity Exchange
The most-traded September coking coal futures contract closed at 1,882.50 yuan ($290.51) per tonne on Monday July 12, up by 26 yuan per tonne day on day.
The most-traded September coke contract closed at 2,514 yuan per tonne on Monday July 12, up by 19.50 yuan per tonne day on day.
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