Chinese Buyers Snap up Indonesian Thermal Coal as Lunar New Year Nears
Chinese demand for lower-to-medium grade Indonesian thermal coal was stable, with a few deals being reported on Monday as buyers look to take deliveries of the cargoes before the Lunar New Year holidays, sources said.
Two Handymax cargoes of 3,800 kcal/kg NAR coal were sold to a Chinese buyer at $52/mt CFR Yangtze River port for December and mid-January loading, a Singapore-based trader said.
Handymax freight rates from South Kalimantan to Yangtze River are being quoted at about $14-14.50/mt, he said.
A gearless Panamax cargo of 3,800 kcal/kg NAR -- or 4,200 kcal/kg GAR -- Indonesian coal was reportedly sold at $39-40/mt FOB East Kalimantan for delivery in January to South China, according to a Shanghai-based trader.
A second Singapore-based said that Chinese buyers are not willing to pay "above high $37/mt FOB levels," adding that most of the offers were at above $38/mt FOB levels for Supramax cargoes.
"I see quite a few [offers for 4,200 kcal/kg GAR coal] at $38.50/mt FOB, but no one is touching those," he added.
Two 55,000 mt cargoes of 3,800 kcal/kg NAR coal were reportedly sold at $48/mt CFR South China for arrival before the end of January, a Hong Kong-based trader said.
"With Supramax freight rates being quoted at $13-13.50/mt FOB from South Kalimantan to South China, theoretically the FOB price for 3,800 kcal/kg NAR coal should be about $35/mt, but I don't think anybody can get this price," the trader said.
The deal at $48/mt CFR South China is based on a time-chartered vessel, this trader said, adding that the Supramax was time-chartered for about six months to one year at about $10/mt.
Platts assessed the price of FOB Kalimantan 4,200 kcal/kg GAR coal for loading in the next 7-45 days at $39/mt FOB and FOB Kalimantan 3,800 kcal/kg GAR coal at $32.90/mt, both unchanged from Friday. MID CV COAL SUPPLY TIGHT
Cargoes of Indonesian 4,700 kcal/kg NAR coal are hard to come by as most of the suppliers are completely booked for December and January shipments, sources said.
Three Panamax parcels of Indonesian 4,700 kcal/kg NAR coal were reportedly sold at $57.50/mt FOB for arrival before end-January, the Hong Kong-based trader said.
This trader also reported a Panamax cargo of similar grade sold at $67/mt CFR South China for January arrival.
Chinese power plants can accept prices of up to Yuan 480/mt or $67.26/mt CFR South China for 4,700 kcal/kg NAR coal cargoes, this trader said.
"My supplier has sold all his 4,700 kcal/kg NAR coal cargoes except one for end-January loading, which he is holding back as he expects prices to rise," the Singapore-based trader said.
A Panamax cargo of 4,600 kcal/kg NAR blended coal was being offered at $58.50/mt FOB, which is "very high," the Singapore-based trader said, adding that counter bids were not immediately available.
A Shandong-based trader said he is seeking a Handysize cargo of 4,900 kcal/kg NAR Indonesian thermal coal at $61.75/mt FOB, or about $76/mt CFR South China, for late-December loading.
For comparison, a January-delivered Panamax cargo of 4,900 kcal/kg NAR Indonesian thermal coal was being offered at $69.50/mt CFR South China, a trader said.
Platts assessed the 90-day prices of FOB Kalimantan 5,000 kcal/kg GAR coal at $56.60/mt and FOB Kalimantan 5,900 kcal/kg GAR coal at $69/mt, both unchanged from Friday.
(Platts Dec. 2013)