Coking coal ends week marginally higher

Seaborne coking coal prices ended marginally higher last week as the outlook remains uncertain.

Kallanish assessed premium hard coking coal at $276.94/tonne fob Australia, up only $3.56/t from $273.48/t the previous week.

On the Singapore Exchange, Premium Coking Coal Futures for October settled at $273.67/t fob on Friday. This compares to September futures of $300/t fob a week earlier.

According to a trader, 80,000 tonnes of HCCA Branded ND (fob Australia) for 1-10 October laycan was paid at $280/t on 1 September. The counterparties were unknown.

It is also heard that 80,000 tonnes of Goonyella for 1-10 October laycan were sold by BHP at $272/t on the same date. According to the trader, this could be a sleeve trade for the same cargo.

“It is hard to make a call now, but I’m of the view that the coking coal price will come off eventually,” says the trader.

An analyst who attributes the recent rise in coking coal prices to higher seasonal demand and tight supply in Australia also has the same view.

“The upward momentum may be difficult to sustain, given there’s spot cargoes available for September and October and steel demand is weak,” he says.

With electricity prices continuing to rise in Europe and a poor economic climate everywhere, he thinks coking coal demand will weaken.

On Indian coking coal demand, he says it looks uncertain as he still sees high port stocks and is unsure if post-monsoon restocking has already finished, especially with the steel export tariffs in place.

Siew Mung Tan Malaysia