19 Sep 2018
Atlantic metallurgical coal spot prices were stable Tuesday, after prices hit a peak during the build up to Hurricane Florence last week and as ship queues in the US and off Queensland constrained short-term spot offers.
US industry events taking place this week were drawing industry participants, where talks were centered more on US and Canadian long-term contract business. When concluded, the contracts will provide a view on railroad availability for the coming quarter and beyond.
Spot export inquiry may be limited as of now, at least via the East Coast, with coals being already sold for the fourth quarter and wet weather disrupting some operations last week.
At the industry event in West Virginia and at the 41st Pittsburgh Coal Marketing Days event, which is organized by S&P Global Platts, rail and logistics access, and demand and developing availability for US coals for the regional and Asian markets were said to be in focus. US coal miners were keen to boost sales to new customers in Eastern Europe, India and Southeast Asia as well as compete better with new entrants such as Mozambique, sources said.
For Australian FOB markets, there were mixed reports of short-term availability and the longevity of the spot price increase seen this month.
Platts assessment of US East Coast low-vol hard coking coal was stable at $193/mt FOB, based on 58% CSR and 19% volatile matter material.
Platts US high-vol A index remained at $202/mt FOB US East Coast, based on 32% volatile matter, 1.1% reflectance straight coal, with low ash and sulfur and CSR typically in the low 60s.
Platts US high-vol B assessment was steady at $170/mt FOB USEC, based on 34% VM unblended product.
Index-linked sales for high-vol B may be common for contracts and spot business, with one buyer stating that while premiums are common currently, they had not reached as high as 8% over the Platts high-vol B index.
The Premium Low Vol HCC net forward price added $2 to $219.55/mt CFR Rotterdam.
In the coking coal futures market, 48,000 mt traded during the Asian session on SGX and the forward curve edged lower.
September settlements fell $1 to $200/mt, and October lost $1 to $200/mt, as did Q4, which closed at $200/mt. October futures saw 30,000 mt in activity at $200-$201.50/mt over the session.
The Platts TSI Premium Hard Coking Coal reference price, used for settlement of SGX's coking coal futures, fell 40 cents to $204.70/mt FOB Australia.