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Atlantic coking coal: US sellers focus on Brazil, India

Source: SteelGuru, April 25, 2019

US coking coal exporters are largely focused on selling additional tonnes to Brazil and India as market participants return from the Easter break, with European buying still slow.

The Argus daily fob Hampton Roads assessment for low-volatile coking coal edged down by $1/t today to $181/t. The daily fob Hampton Roads index for high-volatile type A (HVA) is unchanged at $197.50/t, while the high-volatile type B (HVB) assessment is down on the day by $1/t at $161/t fob.

Indexes wavered slightly today based on the latest indications in the market, but overall values are seen as fairly steady, in part thanks to only marginal price movements this week in the Asia-Pacific market.

A Brazilian steelmaker is in talks with potential US suppliers to finalise a 12-month tender, seeking five 70,000t shipments comprising a mixture of mid and high-volatile coking coal.

And some Indian buyers are actively seeking extra US cargoes as they continue to restock before the monsoon season begins — although their restocking of Australian material has now slowed.

US logistics have eased in the past few weeks after the lifting of winter restrictions on the Great Lakes shipping channels, which typically constrain domestic coking coal transportation and some export channels.

A couple of European mills are exploring options to book some Russian high-volatile coking coal for shipment in the second half of this year, a European trader said. Another trader confirmed that he is in talks to place a cargo of Russian high-vol material, but did not disclose the likely destination, looking at potential options for index-linkage.

Interest in Russian coking coal has been fairly active lately in Europe and Asia, although some European mills have voiced caution about increasing their usage much given the potential political risks.

Market participants point to the growing appeal of tier two coals thanks to their steep discount compared with tier one, with one seller noting that certain Russian high-vols can be fairly similar in quality to US high-vol brands.

News Source: ARGUS