The globalCOAL NEWC index lost $US1.50 a tonne, closing at $71.63/t for the week ending Friday.
South Africa’s Richards Bay picked up 2.14% to $60.69/t for the week while the globalCOAL DES ARA index, considered to be South African spot thermal coal prices plus freight, was up a mere 9c to $66.01/t.
Despite reports last week of a cancelled seaborne Capesize cargo of Australian thermal coal in Chinese waters, ANZ analysts said that while China’s demand for the commodity was cooling, they doubted a major pullback in its coal imports.
While China has imported record amounts of Australian coking coal this year, some coastal areas of the country have seen increasing thermal coal imports, which are competitively priced compared to domestically produced thermal coal.
The recent slide in oil prices has been attributed to various factors, including poor US consumer confidence and reports of an increase in fuel stocks, but there is also less trading activity due to the start of summer holidays in the northern hemisphere.
Asia-Pacific benchmark Singapore Tapis crude closed at $63.10 a barrel on Friday, having closed nine days earlier at $75.32/bbl.