Over the past two years, seaborne coking coal prices have registered gains during the October-December period as demonstrated by the movements of the daily premium hard coking coal indices published by Fastmarkets MB.
The Fastmarkets MB's cfr China Premium Hard Coking Coal Index averaged $198.33 per tonne in the October-December quarter in 2017, the highest quarterly average for that year.
Similarly, the index averaged $265.68 per tonne in the last quarter of 2016, far higher than those over the first three quarters of the year.
The Chinese government’s resolve to contain pollution and improve the financial health of its ferrous industry started in 2016 when it began to implement structural reforms in its steel and coal sectors as part of its 13th five-year plan for the 2016-2020 period.
Supply-side reforms combined with strong demand for steel products lent support to prices for steelmaking raw materials.
With pollution-control measures typically more stringent in the winter...