[Ferro-Alloys.com] US coking coal prices have been flat to slightly stronger early this week ahead of current third-quarter spot requirements in Europe closing. But confidence is growing among US high-volatility coal suppliers as some are seeing more buying interest than expected in the third quarter, particulary from Europe.
The daily Argus-assessed low-volatility coal price is unchanged today at $107.50/t fob Hampton Roads, while the high-volatility A price is up by 50¢/t to $113.50/t fob Hampton Roads and the high volatility B price is up by 50¢/t as well to $107.50/t.
"While we're still working on third-quarter deals, momentum is clearly on the upside," said one US miner, citing improved interests from Europe, India and Brazil. Prices may not be going up quickly but they are supported, said the miner.
Slowly recovering steel prices have also supported the mood in Europe, where there are expectations among suppliers for a high-volatility A spot requirement to emerge this quarter.
Expectations of Brazilian demand continue to improve following the restart of CPS and Gerdau Acominas' blast furnaces, with another steelmaker expected to restart blast furnaces that were idled in April amid the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil.
There is likely to be a high-volatility B requirement emerging for September delivery and possibly further demand in the fourth quarter, said market participants. But this increase in spot demand does not necessarily point to a growth in overall demand, but rather a shift towards more frequent or quarterly procurements by Brazilian mills. Still Brazilian demand is coming in above expectations for some suppliers. "We have seen some laycans adjusted to bring forward deliveries to Brazil," said one miner.
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