Author: Paul Ploumis28 Mar 2014 Last updated at 01:40:11 GMT
BRISBANE (Scrap Monster): The latest data released by the SteelIndex indicates that the spot prices of Australian hard coking coal export prices plunged nearly 4% yesterday to below-$100 levels. The prices crashed to $99.50 per tonne, the lowest level since January last year.
The quarterly contract prices too witnessed huge drop. The second quarter contracts with Japan are reported to have settled for $120 per tonne. The Indian steel mills are reported to have settled second quarter contracts at $125 per tonne. The contract prices by Indian steel mills declined by 13% from the average first quarter contract prices. According to BREE, the quarterly contracts are expected to maintain a premium of $5 to $10 above spot prices during 2014.
In 2012, China had become the top importer of coking coal, pushing Japan to second place. The coking coal imports by China are expected to cross 100 million tonnes during this year, almost double when compared with Japan’s projected imports of 55 million tonnes. The sluggishness in Chinese steel sector, owing to slowdown in economic growth has had a bearing on global coking coal prices. The oversupply situation is to be blamed more for the price fall.
Industry sources suggest that buyers are unwilling to place new orders amidst sharp fall in prices. They are said to be waiting for clearer market cues and firmer demand from customers.