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European thermal coal market well supplied, Richards Bay offered higher

London (Platts)--4 May 2018 603 am EDT/1003 GMT


Traders in the European thermal coal market were unchanged in sentiment Thursday as US and Russian coal remains well offered, with benchmark grade Richards Bay 6,000 kcal/kg South African coal offered near $100/mt.

Markets have been sluggish due to holiday absences across the Atlantic Basin, a Central Europe-based trader said. The trader noted light trading activity is expected next week as well due to the upcoming Russian national holiday.

A 50,000 mt, multi-origin, July-loading 6,000 kcal/kg NAR cargo traded in the late morning at $85.75/mt. It was the first July-loading cargo seen so far this year.

Higher spot demand for off-spec coals is being seen from North African countries like Morocco and Egypt, which typically receives US or Russian coal, a Swiss-based trader said.

The source said Colombian coal has been less well offered into Europe as producers see greater margins placing tons elsewhere.

S&P Global Platts assessed the CIF ARA 6,000 kcal/kg NAR, 15-60 day price at $83.90/mt, down 30 cents on day.

The trader said the gap between FOB Richards Bay and CIF ARA prices was now over $10, explaining this has led 6,000 kcal/kg NAR, FOB Richards Bay coal unlikely to price into any market globally.

As a result, this has put upwards pressure on mid-CV coal out of South Africa, which has already been tight in supply recently.

Platts assessed the FOB Richards Bay , 5,500 kcal/kg NAR, 7-45 day price at $84.45/mt, down 45 cents on day but up $2.85 on week.

--Piers De Wilde, piers.de.wilde@spglobal.com




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