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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Euro coal prices move up slightly with strong oil - Report

Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

Reuters reported that prompt physical coal prices rose by around 50 cents in line with oil's gains but aside from a few Calendar 2013 trades, activity was muted.

Oil hit USD 123 a barrel, a 9 month high, as Iran related tensions and supply risks overshadowed weak economic data from Europe and China.

One European trader said that "There's still far too much coal, in Europe especially and this rise in prices can't be justified by fundamentals, which are weak."

Another trader said that "I was cautiously optimistic at the start of the year that prices would steady and start recovering in a few months but everybody is offering US coal into everywhere possible."

China's import statistics for January 2012 showed a fall of 8% from December 2011 level.

On an annual basis, China's coal imports rose nearly 4% and hit a record 22.14 million tonnes in November 2011. South African imports alone in Q4 were also at record levels for each month.

But since the government imposed a price ceiling of USD 130 a tonne on coal prices, domestic prices dropped sharply and fresh import buying started to tail off.

US and Colombian coal has continued to be shipped in large quantity to ARA although utilities and traders are trying to re sell into Asia as far as possible because European stockpiles are close to full. Colombian coal is being sold into tenders in South Korea, US coal is being offered to China, India and southern Europe.

An April 2012 South African cargo was bid and offered at USD 106.00 but the counterparties cannot trade with each other. An April 2012 DES cargo was bid at USD 97.50 and offered at USD 100.50, up around 50 cents.

A May 2012 DES ARA multi origin cargo was bid at USD 98.25 and offered at USD 103.00, also up around 50 cents.

(Sourced from www.reuters.com)

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