Steel makers maintained cautious buying of coke in past few days, greatly denting optimism in China's coke market.
This followed decrease of coke price starting from four or five days ago. Some steel mills have dropped coke purchase price by 150 yuan/t accumulatively and intentionally cap coke arrivals after building coke stocks to high level.
Coke producers failed to see improvement in sales after price drop, and instead suffered stocks pile-up of Grade II met coke.
"Coke sales remained poor in the wake of price fallback, leaving stocks high at 10,000 tonnes," said a Jinzhong-based producer. "We have dropped offer price for Quasi Grade I met coke by 50 yuan/t to 2,050 yuan/t ex-washplant with VAT."
"We are running full capacity," said a Luliang-based coke firm. "As transport condition betters, we plan to cut offer price for Quasi Grade I met coke by 100 yuan/t to 2,100 yuan/t to spur sales."
"Coke makers may face difficulty in selling coke, as they called us to ask if we have some buying interest," said a Shanxi-based trader, adding they didn't take any coke in market downturn.
Sales worsened and stocks increased as operating rate rose to 60%, said a Jiangsu-based coke producer. Grade II and Quasi Grade I met coke was offered at 2,300 yuan/t and 2,400 yuan/t respectively.
On January 9, Fenwei assessed the price of Luliang Grade I met coke (0.7% sulfur, 13% ash and CSR 60) at 2,170 yuan/t, down 30 yuan/t from a week ago; that of Jinzhong Grade II met coke (0.8% sulfur, 13.5% ash and CSR 55) at 2,020 yuan/t, also sliding 30 yuan/t on the week.
(Writing by Jessie Jia Editing by Harry Huo)
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