Analyst Merrill Lynch said some Australian metallurgical producers had settled Japanese financial year contracts 40% lower than current prices, Dow Jones reported.
Brokerage UBS said intermediate coking coals remained the riskiest in terms of price, and also suggested Wesfamers had settled North Curragh PCI at $US65/t. The prices are yet to be confirmed by Wesfarmers and other producers are remaining tight-lipped on any settlement prices.
Merrill Lynch forecast PCI prices of $US80/t and semisoft coking coal prices at $US50/t.
Talks on hard coking coal prices will start later this month and are expected to fare better than their lower grade counterparts.