High demand demonstrated by Chinese customers allowed Australian coking coal exporters to raise their offers in early December. Most insiders believe the raw material will not weaken till the end of the year.
Prices for premium hard coking coal added $4-5/t this week, reaching $133-136/t FOB. A 85,000 t cargo of Goonyella brand material was traded at $133/t FOB, insiders say. 90,000 t of second-tier product was booked at $122.82/t FOB. Both deals were done for January delivery.
Chinese customers were more active in signing contracts on CFR basis. Two cargoes of Peak Downs North brand coal were bought at $143-146/t CFR, while 85,000 t of Goonyella material was traded at $143.75/t CFR. It was also reported about Hunter Valley semi-soft coking coal sold to China at $88/t CFR.
High demand in the country supported local coke prices, which stayed firm after the previous week’s increase. Steel mills’ inventories remained at a low level sufficient for 15.5 days of production, according to SteelHome data.
In these conditions, most insiders believe that Australian exporters will keep cok- ing coal prices steady this month. “The demand is likely to stay high in the short term, so coking coal will sustain or even increase again by the end of December,” a Chinese trader told.