Chinese coking coal miners embraced the first price hike in 2018, as coal transport is forecast to be impacted by snow weather, which will hit Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong and other northern provinces.
According to the Central Meteorological Observatory, blizzards are expected over January 2-4 in Shanxi, the biggest coking coal production province in the country. Luliang, Taiyuan, Linfen, Changzhi and other four cities will have moderate or heavy snowfalls.
Jiangsu, a major coke production area in eastern China, will also see snow and rain during the time.
Shanxi Coking Coal Group, Shanxi's biggest coking coal producer with multiple subsidiary mines scattered in the province, decided to adjust up prices of coking coal and fat coal by 80-100 yuan/t from January 1.
Specifically, its coal mines of Liuwan, Jiexiu, Lingshi and Shaqu raised 80 yuan/t for spot prices of coking coal, while Tunlan, Xiqu, Shuiyu and Zhongxing mines raised 100 yuan/t.
Xinzhi, Malan, Shuangliu and Yixin ramped up spot prices of their fat coals by 100 yuan/t and Liyazhuang raised 80 yuan/t.
The group didn't adjust prices to their clients with long-term supply contracts.
Prices of washed gas coal, washed 1/3 coking coal also increased by 30-40 yuan/t in many production places in Shandong, the largest coking coal producer in eastern China.
Most miners in the province reported end users generally agreed their price hikes and purchased actively as before.
"I think the market will keep running up in the short term, at least before the coke market totally came into the downside," said one local miner. "Most large miners don't have much stock now."
On January 2, Fenwei CCI Liulin low-sulfur primary coking coal index was assessed at 1,450 yuan/t, flat week on week; Anze primary coking coal index was at 1,630 yuan/t, up 20 yuan/t from a week ago, both on ex-washplant basis with VAT.
On the same day, Shandong semi-soft coking coal index was assessed at 1,030 yuan/t, up 15 yuan/t on the week.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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