Benchmark slippage

THE December quarter benchmark price for Australia’s premium hard coking coal slipped $US1 a tonne from the previous quarter to just $119/t free on board, according to The Steel Index’s monthly review.
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Blair Price

TSI’s data also revealed this latest quarterly benchmark compared to a monthly Australian PHCC benchmark price of $116/t FOB for September – which was down $2/t from August.

This month was also tipped to be a quiet one in terms of Chinese coal demand.

“Due to previous restocking activities in China ahead of the winter season, buying interest for seaborne coal in China may remain weak throughout October,” TSI said.

“Moreover, Chinese policies to curb excess steel capacity and restrict the imports of coal – both thermal and some coking coal – may reduce the demand for imported coal cargoes.”

Increased competition from Chinese coal producers was also flagged.

“As Chinese coal miners struggle with tight liquidity, rising production costs and weak steel prices, some may be tempted to cut domestic coal market prices in October,” TSI said.

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