SINGAPORE Chinas demand for metallurgical coal will increase steadily in 2013, according to Sun Xuefeng, deputy general manager of Beijing-based Sinosteel Raw Materials Co. Ltd.
However, import prices wont keep increasing as they did from 2008 to 2011, he told delegates Feb. 20 at the second Coaltrans Asia Coal Trading Forum in Singapore.
But prices also wont see another sharp decline similar to what was recorded last year, Sun said. "I think prices will (remain) stable."
This pricing trend will determine Chinas purchase of seaborne metallurgical coal. China is known to be an arbitrage buyer, as the country also has an abundant domestic supply of coal.
The main factor affecting the metallurgical coal market in the first half of 2013 will be politics as Xi Jinping, currently general secretary of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the partys Central Military Commission, takes over the reins as Chinas president in March, according to Sun.
Sun expects the new government to announce fresh measures to stimulate the countrys economy.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.