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Atlantic metallurgical coal prices steady with longer-term buying coming in

Atlantic metallurgical coal markets Wednesday found prices remaining steady, with several longer-term requirements in international and US markets keeping some trade activity going as regions slow down for the Northern Hemisphere summer.

Tender activity to offer various quality coals into export and US domestic markets for loadings in the fourth quarter and through 2019 were heard. This was said to be covering a part of a group’s planned forward needs, according to several sources, including in Europe.
In Italy, despite the delay in ArcelorMittal concluding its Ilva acquisition to a new expected date in September, Ilva was said to be in the market, and may be purchasing a US cargo for loading at the end of August. The government-controlled company were not immediately able to comment.

Outside the Atlantic, the focus on China’s stricter 2018-2020 plan for pollution controls was reported since late Tuesday after the State Council released a report. This may have ramifications for steel supply and prices, and steel raw materials trade and demand by quality.

By expanding the scope of winter cuts to more cities in China, this is likely to further reduce pig iron output in the winter and trim back more steel overcapacity. This could push remaining mills to operate at higher rates.

S&P Global Platts assessment of US high-vol A remained at $186/mt FOB USEC Monday, based on 32% volatile matter, 1.1% reflectance straight coal, with low ash and sulfur and CSR typically in the low 60s.

US East Coast low-vol HCC was stable at $181/mt FOB, based on 58% CSR, and 19% volatile matter specification.

The US high-vol B assessment was unchanged at $152/mt FOB USEC, based on 34% VM unblended product.

The Australian Premium Low Vol net forward assessment added 40 cents to $210.85/mt CFR Rotterdam.

On the futures market, there was no trade on the SGX at the Asian close with 8,000 mt in after-hours trade Tuesday.

Settlement prices on the SGX fell slightly.

The Q3 settlement price fell 67 cents to $187.33/mt, with July stable at $190/mt and August at $186/mt, down$1/mt.

Platts benchmark TSI Premium Hard Coking Coal reference price, used for settlement of SGX’s coking coal futures, fell 80 cents to $193.10/mt FOB Australia.
Source: Platts

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