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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Steam coal prices stable as China growth worries weigh

Wednesday, 21 Mar 2012

Reuters reported that prices of prompt physical steam coal were largely unchanged again on Tuesday with coal lacking clear direction from fundamentals but macro factors such as China growth worries could start to erode prices, utilities and traders said.


A May South African cargo was bid at USD 103.50 and offered at USD 104.25, unchanged.

A June South African cargo was bid at USD 104.50.

An April DES ARA cargo was bid at USD 90.00 and offered at USD 96.00, down USD 3.00 on the bid but unchanged on the offer

A May DES ARA cargo was bid at USD 95.00 and offered at USD 98.50, little changed

Bids and offers were again too far apart to trade and both buyers and sellers were uncertain of the market's strength.

No fresh trades were reported.

One European trader said “Everybody's trying to figure out how to make money in this market, which is barely moving, so for some to make a slim margin on U.S. coal to Asia is better than nothing or almost nothing.”

They said “More fixed price trades, a term contract settlement price between Australian producers and Japanese utilities and some resumption of Chinese buying would give the market a sharper picture of coal's value.”

The fundamental situation in the coal market has not significantly changed for months, Societe Generale said in a research note on Tuesday.

Global coal prices are heavily dependent upon whether China imports on a large scale or not and this in turn depends on whether domestic coal is cheaper than imports.

Source - Reuters


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