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WEEKLY MET COAL WRAP: Asia PLV FOB prices slightly higher

Friday, 04 February 2022

Asia-Pacific metallurgical PLV FOB prices climbed slightly higher on limited spot availability while delivered prices to China were largely rangebound during the Lunar New Year holidays.

S&P Global Platts assessed Premium Low Vol up 25 cents/mt to $444.75/mt FOB Australia on week, and CFR China steady at $405.50/mt Feb. 4.

In the ex-China market, limited trading activity was seen as both buyers and sellers adopted a wait-and-see approach, waiting for the outcome of the PMV buy tender issued by a major steelmaker in India, if successful, to give market clearer directions on prices. However, towards end of the week, market participants said the tender was not concluded due to the mismatch of price expectations.

Meanwhile, market participants said that uncertainties still lingered over spot supply due to pandemic-related labor issues and wet weather in Australia. According to the report released by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology Feb. 3, there was “an increased chance of unusually high rainfall (in the top 20% of historical records) for February to April in much of northern and eastern Queensland,” and scattered areas across southern Queensland and New South Wales.

In China, prices were mostly rangebound amid a bout of thin buying interest due to the ongoing Lunar New Year celebrations in China Feb. 3. Market activities were expected to remain thin until China’s return to the spot market, which may help to guide the market’s price direction, sources said.

“Sentiments on restocking demand post-holiday are not so optimistic, as steel mills are cutting production amid environmental regulations and also weakness signaled in the property segment,” an international trader said.

In the metallurgical coke segment, steel mills in Hebei also announced a price cut by Yuan 100/mt, effective from Feb 1, industry sources said. Market participants attributed the weakness in the coke market to higher coke inventories and steel production cuts in Hebei.

-- Staff

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