Aussies may get rough end of Japanese price stick

WHILE majors Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata Coal are yet to settle 2006 coal contracts with Japanese buyers, rumours abound the market that smaller player Wesfarmers has settled its PCI contracts at the bottom end of projected prices at $US60-65/t.
Aussies may get rough end of Japanese price stick Aussies may get rough end of Japanese price stick Aussies may get rough end of Japanese price stick Aussies may get rough end of Japanese price stick Aussies may get rough end of Japanese price stick

 

Angie Tomlinson

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.

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