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China’s imported met coal market quiet after holiday

Keywords: Tags  metallurgical coal, met coal imports, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance

SINGAPORE — China’s market for imported metallurgical coal remained quiet after the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday, with few transactions.

"I don’t think there’s much demand out there and I haven’t found anybody who’s selling," a trader in Singapore told AMM sister publication Steel First.

Chinese buyers have yet to come into the market looking for cargoes, and sellers mostly sold out their March cargoes before the holiday, he said. "There’s no real need for anyone to sell anything for April at the moment because the market is still uncertain."

Lower prices for iron ore and other commodities also have affected market sentiment and made buyers cautious.

"Buyers become more conservative in a falling market and they don’t buy cargoes hastily," a mill source in Singapore said. "They are waiting for the market to stabilize."

The market is fairly thin, a Tianjin-based trader said, but he expects to see more activity in the coming week.

The higher price agreed to by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance for its March cargoes—$173 per tonne f.o.b. Australia for low-volatility hard coking coal, up by as much as $9 from this month—has made some buyers hesitant about booking, a trader in Rizhao said.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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