China buyers saw import price for thermal coal hovering high as supply tension continued to prevent them from getting the power generation material at ideal levels.
"There are many inquiries for March-delivery Indonesian coal," said a Guangdong-based trader. "But the market is in shortage of supply," he noted, adding this may cut chance for price drop in February and March.
He placed offer price for 3,800 Kcal/kg and 4,700 Kcal/kg NAR cargoes at $50/t and $74/t FOB. Currently it cost some $6/t to ship Indonesian coal to south China via Panamax vessel, the trader added.
Having done some import deals, one Beijing-based trader reported high offer prices from overseas miners -- $50.5/t and $72.5-73/t FOB for Indonesian 3,800 Kcal/kg and 4,700 Kcal/kg NAR material.
Trades on Indonesian thermal coal were mostly for February delivery, while few deals were made for March, said another Beijing-based trader.
Cargoes of 4,700 Kcal/kg NAR were settled at about $74/t FOB, and the cost of carrying the power-generating fuel on Panamax ships to China was at $6.5/t, he said.
There would be no other factors except weather to further push up import prices, he noted, projecting a market reverse after the two parliamentary sessions in March.
As Indonesian coal prices have climbed quite high, further rising room could be limited, said a Zhejiang-based trader.
Indonesian 3,800 Kcal/kg NAR coal on Supramax basis was offered at $50/t FOB at a freight rate of $7/t, according to the trader.
Australian 5,500 Kcal/kg NAR coal was offered at $89.5-90/t FOB and Capesize freight rate of $9.5/t, he added.
Australian coal price rose steeply, according to a south China-based trader. Early March-arrival 5,500 Kcal/kg NAR bituminous coal shipment with high moisture was offered at $91/t FOB or $100.5/t CFR south China, according to the trader.
High offer price of $100/t CFR has made Chinese buyers hesitate to buy, said a foreign trader, adding maybe it needs some time.
The Fenwei CCI Import 5500 index was assessed at $98.5/t on February 5, CFR southern China ports, rising $0.5/t from a day ago and up $2.5/t from a week ago.
On the same day, the 4,700 Kcal/kg NAR import coal was assessed at $80/t, CFR southern China ports, unchanged from the day before and up $1/t from the week prior; imported 3,800 Kcal/kg NAR coal was assessed at $57.7/t, unchanged day on day and up $0.8/t week on week.
(Writing by Jessie Jia Editing by Harry Huo)
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