Production area Coal prices were adjusted up 5-10 yuan/t by some miners in Ordos of Inner Mongolia, and miners saw declining stocks and increased buying demand from utilities in Hebei and Shandong amid heated-up sentiment at northern ports. Operations at some coal mines and rail stations were interrupted by environmental inspections in northern Shanxi, and coal trucks were banned at some road sections, which blocked delivery and bolstered truck freight rates.
Northern port Inquiries were largely for Inner Mongolian low-sulfur coal at northern ports, and offer prices picked up from previous days. 5,500 Kcal/kg and 5,000 Kcal/kg NAR coals were generally offered at 585-588 yuan/t and 515 yuan/t FOB with VAT. Fears for a possible downturn were growing among participants, given utilities' high stocks and expectations of power load drops.
Import market Awarded prices of Guodian's tender for overseas coal turned out to be quite low, yet traders award with the tender began buying cargoes, which supported the market slightly. Indonesian 3,800 Kcal/kg NAR coal was offered at $31.5/t FOB on Supramax basis.
Prices of low-sulfur coking coal continued going up in Shanxi's Linfen, as stocks of this premium grade kept low at local mines; In Wuhai, Inner Mongolia, offer prices of high-sulfur fat coal edged up as some local miners cut production on safety concern and downstream purchases were active.
Prices of Mongolian #5 import coking coal lowered dropped by 10 yuan/t in Tangshan market, as supply were abundant with more trucks through border crossing in recent days. Currently, prices of Mongolian #5 (CSR 60%) were around 1,420-1,440 yuan/t.
In anticipation of bad performance in the near term, traders have stopped coke purchases recently. Some steelmakers also started controlling arrivals from coking plants.
Bearish sentiment was lingering in the market with sources saying steel mills in Handan would implement steel cut policy before the end of this month.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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