PERTH Dec 1 Australia's thermal coal
prices, the benchmark for Asia, fell to around $111 per tonne
during the past week as North Asia demand continued to flounder
despite the approach of winter.
Thermal coal on the global COAL Newcastle index for the week
to date closed at $111.04 per tonne on Wednesday, down from
$113.21 per tonne a week earlier.
"We are not hearing additional inquiries from the northern
hemisphere," one Sydney-based market source said. "Major
customers like Japan have already secured cargoes through the
end of March."
Markets shrugged off a drop in Australian thermal coal
shipments from Newcastle port due to planned maintenance and wet
"There are some coal mines in the Gunnedah (region) that are
a bit wet, but nothing long-term. A couple of vessels got pushed
back five days. As far as supply and demand, it doesn't change
much," another Sydney-based market source said.
A bridge collapse on a river in Borneo, Indonesia that is
used for shipments of coal also did not budge prices.
Indonesian miner Harum Energy declared force
majeure on prompt coal deliveries to some clients Bayan
Resources said it expected delays to coal shipments.
Other companies contacted by Reuters said they were not
In China, the domestic coal price benchmark was slightly
lower at 847 yuan ($130) per tonne during the last week, down
from 850 yuan the previous week, according to the weekly
Bohai-Rim Bay thermal coal price index published Wednesday.
Demand for coal from China, which is the world's largest
producer and consumer of the fuel, has dropped in recent months,
putting pressure on prices regionally.
Two traders reported that although they were receiving quite
a number of inquiries for cargoes, there was a wide spread of
around $2 per tonne between bids and offers.
Chinese market players also saw little impact from the
bridge collapse in Indonesia.
Chinese buyers said a closure of up to a month would not
have a big impact on prices, but that if barge traffic delays
drag on for more than a month, supply in the region could
($1=6.3789 Chinese yuan)
(Additional reporting by Fayen Wong in Shanghai; Editing by