ASIA THERMAL COAL: Chinese buyers scout for bargains for imported coal
Singapore (Platts)--5Mar2013/547 am EST/1047 GMT
Chinese buyers remained on the sidelines as they continued to scout for
thermal coal cargoes at cheaper prices with no rush to conclude deals amid
huge stockpiles at ports and power companies, sources said.
Despite the lack of demand, some Indonesian miners have raised their
offer prices since last week as supply gets cramped due to rains in East
Kalimantan and the crackdown on illegal mining in South Kalimantan, sources
A Singapore-based trader said that cargoes of 4,200 kcal/kg GAR coal
were being offered as high as $44-45/mt FOB this week, up nearly $3-4 since
"There is not much movement [of imported coal] to China because of the
[higher] prices. [Buyers are] talking prices even lower than what were before
the Lunar New Year," he added.
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An Indonesia-based trader said that after the recent federal budget
session in India, buyers in that country were ready to pay a bit higher
prices compared with the Chinese buyers for various grades of thermal coal.
"Chinese buyers are not in a position to pinch suppliers any more. They
will have to pay up more if they want to secure [Indonesian] cargoes," he
For 4,700 kcal/kg NAR Indonesian coal, the current purchase price of a
Beijing-based utility is no higher than Yuan 410/mt, excluding the 17% VAT,
on a landed basis or $65.60/mt CFR.
Current offer prices of 4,700 kcal/kg NAR Indonesian coal, however, have
surged to a high of $70-71/mt CFR for April deliveries, sources said.
An India-based trader said that he could sell prompt-loading Indonesian
5,000 kcal/kg NAR coal at $72/mt CFR south China.
Indonesian 5,900 kcal/kg gross-as-received thermal coal for loading in
the next 90-day period was assessed by Platts at $76.10/mt FOB, while 5,000
kcal/kg GAR Indonesian thermal coal for the same delivery period was assessed
at $60.25/mt FOB, and both price assessments were stable from Monday.
Indonesian thermal coal with a calorific value of 4,200 kcal/kg GAR and
for loading in the next 7-45 days was assessed at $41.50/mt FOB, and was also
stable compared with Monday's assessment.
China's domestic thermal coal market has yet to see any solid recovery
despite the recent rebound in offer prices of overseas coal, market sources
"We now only hope for a recovery in the second quarter of 2013," a
Singapore-based Chinese trader said. "We have not booked any cargoes on the
spot market since early February."
Due to the recent rise in ocean freights, offer prices of 5,500 kcal/kg
NAR Australian coal have remained high at $87-88/mt CFR for April-May
deliveries. Deducting the ocean freight cost of about $12/mt for
mini-Capesize vessels, the FOB prices of 5,500 kcal/kg NAR Australian coal
have been stable at about $75/mt since early February.
Offers for March-loading Newcastle 5,500 kcal/kg NAR cargoes with
maximum ash of 23% were 50 cents weaker Tuesday at $75.50/mt FOB but went
unbid. For April, Capesize-cargo offer prices were steady at $75.50/mt FOB
while bids for Panamax shipments were at $74.75/mt FOB, as heard through
broker Marex Spectron.
"Chinese market has turned decidedly bearish," a second Singapore-based
Platts assessed the FOB price of Newcastle thermal coal with a calorific
value of 5,500 kcal/kg NAR and with typical ash of 20%, normalized from
17-23% and for loading in the next 7-45 days at $76.40/mt, and down 10 cents
from the last assessment on Monday.
Platts assessed the price of 5,500 kcal/kg NAR seaborne traded thermal
coal for delivery to ports in south China within the next 15-60 day period at
$85.05/mt CFR, down 20 cents from Monday, and for domestic 5,500 kcal/kg NAR
thermal coal at China's Qinhuangdao port the price was assessed at Yuan
530/mt, down Yuan 2 on-day.
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