FOCUS: Seaborne coking coal prices may surge after Lunar New Year

Seaborne coking coal prices made their way back to the $200-per-tonne threshold just before the week-long Lunar New Year holiday begins in China, surprising some market participants.

“I thought seaborne prices would stay around $190 per tonne cfr China until after the Lunar New Year since most end users have sufficient coking coal stock; however, the market upended our expectations,” a mill source in southern China said. Fastmarkets’ MB cfr China Premium Hard Coking Coal Index fell to $199.02 per tonne on January 11 - the first time since September 2018 that it has fallen below $200 per tonne. But it went on to rise steadily over the next two weeks before returning to that threshold. On Monday January 28, it was at $200.70 per tonne. “The rebound in prices was due to a combination of cheaper seaborne coal prices [compared with domestic materials] and an improvement in steel market sentiment among Chinese participants,” the mill source added. And they are likely to strengthen further after the holiday. Optimistic outlook Coking coal prices usually increase when Chinese mills begin to replenish...

Published

Sophie Zhao

January 29, 2019

06:45 GMT

Shanghai