Steel futures boost coking coal

BULK commodities mostly rose last week, with coking coal prices up 1.6% to $142 per tonne for the week, as higher steel futures and falling steel inventories boosted sentiment, according to a report by the ANZ bank.

Lou Caruana

Baltic Cape size freight rates also continued to rise, up 9.5% last week, driven by rising coking coal seaborne activity.

In contrast, thermal coal markets could come under a bit of pressure, with falling Chinese domestic coal prices weighing on already bearish sentiment, the report stated.

The general mood in China will remain cautious, according to ANZ.

“Although commodities could start to turn directionally higher in the coming months as market participants begin to price in favour of better demand at the end of the year, we are still looking for a continued run of positive Chinese data to offset the seasonally weaker third quarter and cautious tone in the market,” it said.

“Because China’s growth has slowed, traders expect other global markets to continue to exert greater influence on commodity sentiment.

“As a result, we also see some risk of volatility and potentially lower prices in September should the US begin tapering back its asset purchase program in line with our house view.”