March 14, 2012 / 5:23 PM / 6 years ago

Euro Coal-ARA prices slide again on oversupply

* April DES ARA trades at $94/T

* April S.African trades at $103.45/T

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - Oversupply pushed European coal prices down by over $1.00 on Wednesday, with further price falls likely, traders and analysts said.

An April DES ARA multi-origin cargo traded at $94.00 a tonne on Wednesday, $4.50 below the API2 index and down nearly $2.00 from Tuesday’s offer level.

“That April trade wasn’t for U.S. coal which trades at a discount, it was delivery into Rotterdam so totally standard and I can’t remember I saw a trade at such a big discount, that is extremely bearish,” one trader said.

Prices are forecast to at best remain range-bound in the first half of the year or drift lower as supply increases, VTB Capital said in a research note.

With projected growth of over 20 million tonnes supply from Australia and over 26 million from Indonesia, prices could fall in both the Atlantic and Pacific markets, VTB said.

But in the second half, VTB expects a global coal deficit of 7 million tonnes due to higher imports by China, India and Japan.

A deficit of 7 million tonnes is almost negligible within the annual seaborne thermal coal trade of 750 million tonnes, but a shift back to a more balanced market should be positive for prices.

The flow of U.S. and Colombian coal into Europe has continued unabated, and consumers and suppliers are busily re-selling cargoes wherever they can, into the Mediterranean and into Asia.

TRADES

An April loading South African cape traded at $103.45 a tonne.

An April DES ARA multi-origin cargo into Rotterdam traded at $94.00, down over $2.00 from Tuesday.

PRICES

A May South African cargo was bid at $103.00 and offered at $104.00, up 75 cents on the bid.

DES ARA bids and offers were too far apart to be meaningful price indications. (Reporting by Jacqueline Cowhig; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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