About: Coking Coal is a grade of coal which is utilised to make good-quality coke. Coke is an essential fuel as well as a reactant in the blast furnace process for steelmaking. Primary steelmaking companies often have a division which produces coal for coking, particularly to ensure a stable and low-cost production of steel.
Get the latest insights on price movement and trend analysis of Coking Coal in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).
To accommodate the ever-increasing demands of its power sector, India relies heavily upon imports. Amid the ongoing geopolitical dynamics and weather disturbances, the price trend of coking coal exploded globally. The prices rose 3-fold to around 450 USD/MT compared to the year back at 120-130 USD/MT. Coking coal is one of the primary feedstocks required for steel production.
Hence, due to the rising costs of inputs, the margins of the Indian steel industry are affected. According to ISA (Indian Steel Association), the price of coking coal in steel production is around 28,000-30,000 INR/MT, which accounts for 40-45% of the entire production cost, provided all the other variables are kept constant.
In April, the Chinese imports of coking coal from Russia reached a record high due to the discounted prices offered by Russia before the European embargo. Coking coal prices went from 3151.3 RMB/ton in April to 2811.4 RMB/ton in June 2022. This price decrease was due to the decreased demands from the downstream sectors. Though the Chinese market for coking coal weakened towards the end of this quarter, the prices are still higher than the previous year.
During this quarter, coking coal prices remained gusty due to the robust and persistent demand from the European states despite the constant supply chain disruptions. Many EU member states depend on Russia to fulfil its coal requirements, and the current sanctions triggered an acute energy crisis in Europe. The coal prices averaged 374 USD/MT in the forecast period.
For this quarter, the price trends in the United States remained strong. Per ton price of coking averaged around 333-370 USD.
For the First Quarter of 2022
Average coking coal prices were around 2,665 RMB/MT, up 72.86% over the same period last year. On January 20, the commodities index for northern coking coal was steady from the previous day at 196.68, down 29.31% from the cycle high of 278.23 on November 9, 2021, and up 337.94% from the cycle low of 44.91 on January 28, 2016. In terms of downstream coke, the price of coke in Shanxi was 2,938 RMB/MT the previous weekend. The coke market price remained constant for a time. Russian exports accounted for around 10% of the world's met coal trade in terms of volume. Customers from China and India had been purchasing spot Russian material at a discount to Australian pricing. Separately, the export window for Chinese coals increasingly opened up as a result of the international market upswing. At the end of March, worldwide coking coal prices for premium hard grades were 150 USD/MT higher than domestic Chinese pricing, enabling for significantly more competitive exports of Chinese materials.
European thermal coal quotes went fresh historic highs with restricted supply on the global market and Russia’s ongoing military campaign in Ukraine. Russian coal exports fell since the start of the crisis in Ukraine. Shipping records revealed that coal continued to be delivered from Russian ports to Europe, but several big energy corporations, including Centrica, Vattenfall, Orsted, and BP, chose to wait-and-see to buy Russian coal, fearing future penalties. In reality, global coal markets were the target of an experiment on the hypothetical removal of 1/6 of the supply, accounting for the part of Russian coal in the world market, that led to an unprecedented spike in prices. As of March 09, 2022, the indices rose above 415 USD/MT, eventually correcting to 360 USD/MT.
Coking coal prices in the United States were 388 USD/MT during the month of March.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
Heavy rains were observed in the Shanxi region of China, the nation's main coal producing province, after record floods slammed the mining district of Henan in July. The floods also hindered China's initiatives to raise fuel supplies to address its increasing energy crisis.
Shanxi Province, which supplied about a third of China's coal supplies in the year 2021, had to temporarily stop dozens of mines owing to flooding. Although several sites progressively restored functioning afterwards. While safety difficulties and flooding hampered domestic mines in China, border barriers between Mongolia and China and ongoing diplomatic disputes between China and Australia only aggravated the situation. Hard coking coal prices resumed a surge that started in October 2020, reaching record levels of 600 USD/MT CFR China, before falling dramatically in November and stabilising at rates of around 400 USD/MT CFR China.
While coal imports declined by 26.8% year on year, monthly imports increased by 6%, continuing the rising trend from 14.85 MT in October 2021 in India. Meanwhile, the country's coal imports fell by 22.5% in November 2021 to 15.78 MT, down from 20.35 MT in the same month last year. On a month-to-month basis, coal imports grew marginally by 0.21% in November 2021, to 15.75 MT. India's import demand was muted following the conclusion of the festive season and the improvement of domestic supplies. As a result, the impact of the easing of seaborne prices on import volumes was minimal.
According to several industry participants, steel manufacturing costs climbed by more than 100 EUR/MT in the last few months of 2021. Mills were projected to increase offer levels further in the coming months, despite no hint of a decline in energy costs across Europe. Because steel demand remained sluggish, mills struggled to sell coking coal at increased prices that fully covered the increased energy expenses.
In November, supply disruptions weighed on US and Canadian coking coal exports, although exceptionally high prices through October and early November encouraged mining businesses to transport cargoes wherever possible. Exports increased in the second half of the year, as mining firms increased output wherever possible in response to the increase demand from Chinese consumers. Nonetheless, output growth had been restricted by the ongoing Warrior Met Coal strike, as well as a generalized labour shortage and substandard rail performance. In October, Argus' daily FOB Hampton Roads estimate reached a record 495.06 USD/MT, up from 112.75 USD/MT a year earlier.
Rising demand from China impacted US exports to Brazil. Exports decreased by 21% to 4.54 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2021. In August, US and Canadian coking coal exports to China and India increased, while LATAM purchasers sought cheaper Australian cargoes. US exports to Brazil declined 32.7% year on year and 10.8% month on month to 306,199 MT, as customers selected cheaper Australian cargoes. Labor shortages were also a short- and long-term constraint on the US supply.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
Steel demand was mostly bullish in the market outlook, owing to anticipation of a seasonal boost in demand and increasing Covid-19 vaccines. China's supply was limited as a result of local production restrictions tied in part to the country's emissions reduction ambitions. Coking coal prices increased as freight crisscrossed the globe, with India and Europe purchasing from Australia and China purchasing from the Americas. This has resulted in an increase in voyage times. Stagnant unloading routines at Chinese port resulted in vessel scarcity and raised costs in recent months. In the first half of 2021, ex-China spot demands for seaborne coking coal surged by around 280% year on year.
Steel mills throughout the world, from China to India, Europe, and Brazil, were trying to secure metallurgical coal amid an unprecedented rise fueled by limited global supplies and disruptions in trade flows caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the scarcity of supply, spot shipments attracted increased buying interest in Sep 2021 from conventional foreign markets.
The significant rise in seaborne metallurgical coal price that began in mid-second quarter lasted far into the second half of the year, as the global supply-demand balance tightened and a trade tension between Australia and China erupted.
The impact of regional COVID-19 lockdowns, which resulted in steel output restrictions, and China's expiration of import quotas earlier in the year put a lot of pressure on the marketplace until late August, as Vale, a major Brazilian miner, noted. Coking coal prices then increased further, reaching 139 USD/MT by the end of September 2021. Numerous nations in LATAM began relaxing lockout restrictions, increasing the demand as steel output steadily increased.
For the Year 2020
Spot coking coal prices increased in the first quarter of 2020. This happened because the epidemic limited China's coal production, and Mongolia's decision to close its border with China increased China's imports. Due to the collapse of global steel production outside of China as a result of pandemic confinement, the cost plummeted to approximately 110 USD/MT in April 2020. Coking coal prices surged at the end of the third quarter as demand from steelmakers beyond the Chinese borders increased production. Intense rainfall in Queensland also encouraged higher prices, but Australian coal's troubles at Chinese customs drove prices down.
Mining costs grew as a result of heightened safety and social distancing measures in response to the epidemic, while coal prices stayed low. Among other considerations, this resulted in a major proportion of the world's coal mines being unable to stay profitable in 2020, with coking coal having superior economics over thermal coal. By the end of June, Europe constituted about 18% of Australia's spot export volume across a range of grades, comprising premium hard CC, hard CC, pulverised coal injection (PCI), and semi soft coal, up from 5% in 2020. Jastrzbska Spólka Wglowa (JSW), the largest European producer of the product, declared force majeure. Coking coal prices remained low in the second quarter, but stayed stable compared to the first, as the COVID-19 outbreak halted mining operations in Poland.
Reduced fuel prices reduced operational expenses in the coal mining industry, particularly for operators of opencast mines that are dependent on diesel trucks and other equipment. Low fuel costs benefited countries with a heavy reliance on opencast mining in particular. While average fuel expenses decreased in 2019 as a consequence of reduced diesel prices, these impacts were exacerbated in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and the following significant collapse in diesel prices, leading to additional drops in overall fuel costs. Reduced total fuel costs translated into a lower share of overall mining supply costs in the majority of countries. After prices stabilised in early 2020, Covid-related demand curtailment pushed coking coal prices lower. Additionally, strikes in the US harmed trade.
In 2020, as a result of the global economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, the leading coal exporting countries' currencies fell against the USD. South America's emerging markets had been particularly hard hit. In the instance of Colombia, this was primarily owing to the country's reliance on the price of oil. For the third quarter, spot demand in the Atlantic was primarily limited to Brazilian mills, and despite stronger stockpiles at mines, certain suppliers were still willing to discount. Latin America's raw steel production increased by 8% in May compared to April, primarily due to Brazil, where consumption and production increased from a low starting in April.
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Procurement Resource provides prices of Coking Coal for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
Just like other grades of coal, Coking Coal is also derived by mining. It undergoes industrial processing before its utilisation.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).
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