Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd, North America's largest producer of coking coal, forecasted sales of the steel-making material at approximately 6 million tonnes in the first quarter, down 17.8% from 7.3 million tonnes last quarter, Reuters reported on February 15.
Teck said that inquiries from buyers had picked up recently and that it expects sales to be weighted toward the second half of this quarter.
The company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on February 15, lifted by a surge in coking coal prices in the last quarter of 2016.
Teck has reached agreements with the majority of its coal customers for the first quarter, based on a quarterly benchmark price of $285/t.
But since that benchmark was set in early December, spot prices have plunged to about $155/t.
Teck expected an average realized price this quarter of about 70-75% of the $285/t benchmark.
The company forecasted 2017 coking coal production at 27-28 million tonnes, but said output may be adjusted depending on demand.
(Writing by Hao Wu Editing by Harry Huo)
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