China steel mills resist high coking coal offers; liquidity thins
Singapore (Platts)--19Nov2010/910 am EST/1410 GMT
The seaborne spot coking coal market was stable Friday, with Chinese
steelmakers unwilling to consider recent high-priced offers for Australian
premium hard coking coals, according to sources. Liquidity appears to have
dried up, with bids and offers sitting far apart.
Platts maintained its spot assessments, with Peak Downs Region hovering
at $251/mt CFR China and Premium Low Vol at $238/mt CFR China.
Price ideas among Chinese mills varied greatly, with differences of up to
$20/mt in what they were prepared to pay for Peak Downs, for example. One mill
near Beijing said $250/mt CFR was an acceptable price, while a Shandong-based
mill said $230/mt CFR "maximum."
The latest offer heard for this coal was $260/mt FOB for December
BHP Billiton-Mistubishi Alliance's top brands Peak Downs and Saraji have
continued to achieve a significant premium in the Chinese market over coals of
similar quality, due in part to the company's longer history of marketing its
coals in China and the fact that these brands are embedded in the coke blends
of many of the country's steelmakers, according to industry sources.
A large Australian producer said the market was tight at present and was
going to get tighter. He cited the weather, saying 200-250 mm of rain could
fall in some parts of Queensland in the next four days.
Additionally, new speed limitations on a key Queensland rail line came
into effect Friday, which has the potential to disrupt exports, sources said.
In terms of spot inquiries, the producer said that there was "a bit" of
Offers of North American HCC continued to abound. One steelmaker was
offered 70,000 mt of US high-vol at $220/mt CFR, for a January laycan, VM
36-37%, total moisture 8-8.5%, ash 7.2-7.5%, sulfur 0.85-1%, and a CSN
(crucible swell number) of 7-8.
In India, with the pig iron, steel and coke markets still depressed, no
buyer is able to pay as much as the Chinese, a trader said.
Another trader said Oaky Creek was being offered in small lots at east
Indian ports at Rupees 11,500/mt ($254/mt) ex-stock, in line with recent
Blast furnace low-ash metallurgical coke is being sold in East India at
Rupees 19,000-20,000/mt ex-works, coke makers said.
--Julien Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Similar stories appear in Steel Markets Daily.
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