Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Seaborne prices rise further on improved sentiment

Higher bids amid improved sentiment among seaborne coking coal market participants culminated in higher spot prices on Wednesday January 23.

A February-laycan cargo of a top Australian brand was sold at $198.50 per tonne cfr China to a northern Chinese end user, various sources said.

A cargo of branded materials, scheduled for loading in March, also changed hands at $197 per tonne fob Australia on trading platform Global Coal during the day.

Bids for a lower-ranked premium hard coking coal were also heard at $186 per tonne fob Australia and $188-189 per tonne cfr China, a Chinese trader told Fastmarkets.

But the number of offers appears to have fallen amid an uptrend in the market this week, a second Chinese trader said.

“We have a bullish outlook for the market after the Chinese New Year, and this week’s transactions form an ascending pattern. Most buyers are done with procurement anyway so we will just hold off from selling until mid-February,” he added.

China will observe a public holiday over February 4-10.

In the coke market, calls proposing an increase of 100 yuan per tonne emerged in the market but end users quashed the suggestion, sources said. 

“Mills argued that they still have a moderately high amount of coke in their inventories and there have been no issues with [coke] supply,” a coke plant source in Hebei province said.

The Dalian Commodity Exchange’s most-traded May coking coal futures contract closed at 1,232 yuan ($181) per tonne on Wednesday, up 16.50 yuan per tonne from a day earlier.

The most-traded May coke contract closed at 2,043 yuan per tonne, up 24 yuan per tonne for the day.

Fastmarkets MB’s cfr China Premium Hard Coking Coal Index rose $0.55 per tonne to $196.67 per tonne while its hard coking coal index gained $1.63 per tonne to $184.02 per tonne.

The fob Australia premium hard coking coal index is up $2.85 per tonne, at $196.96 per tonne, while the hard coking coal equivalent increased by $4.53 per tonne to $176.68 per tonne.

The low-vol pulverized coal injection indices were flat, at $137.44 per tonne cfr China and $125.13 per tonne fob Australia.