Indonesian thermal coal miners are sticking to their pricing ideas even as Indian buyers continue to haggle over prices, while the Chinese market remains largely inactive due to the Golden Week holidays, sources said Wednesday.
“Indian buying interest is there but it’s all about the prices as they will keep squeezing till the last moment,” an India-based trader source said.
There are several cargoes of coal coming into India under term contracts but spot deals have been hard to come by, he said.
A source at an Indonesia-based thermal coal mine, which is still being developed, said an East Kalimantan coal producer had signed a supply deal for 250,000 mt of 3,800-3,600 kcal/kilogram GAR with an Indian buyer at $40/mt CFR, but declined to reveal further details.
No spot deals were reported on Wednesday, but an Indonesia-based trader source said spot buying interest from India seemed to have weakened in the past few days as the number of inquiries have fallen.
“There was a surge in demand from India [for Indonesian thermal coal] two weeks back, but now it’s died down,” he said.
He said he was offering a 50,000 mt November-loading parcel of 4,200 kcal/kilogram GAR coal at $39.50/mt to India, but there were no counter bids.
However, a Singapore-based source said demand for lower calorific value 4,200 kcal/kilogram GAR had picked up in recent days from both India and China.
“We are seeing values of sub-bituminous coal holding up at the moment as they are sought after for blending purposes,” he said.
Platts assessed the daily FOB Kalimantan 4,200 kcal/kilogram GAR coal for loading in the next 7-45 days, October 9-November 16, at $39/mt, unchanged from Tuesday.
“Indian buyers are quoting very low prices even though they require coal while [Indonesian] miners don’t see the need to sell at such prices,” the Singapore-based source said.
“This is not a seller’s market but prices have stabilised quite a bit compared to the last four to six weeks,” he said.
A second Singapore-based trader source said Indonesian miners were still “insisting” on a FOB price of $56-57/mt for 5,000 kcal/kilogram GAR coal.
Bids for 5,000 kcal/kilogram GAR coal were hovering around $55/mt FOB from Indian buyers, the India-based trader said.
Platts assessed the daily 90-day price of FOB Kalimantan 5,000 kcal/kilogram GAR at $55.70/mt, down 20 cents from Tuesday.
Traders said they were now shifting their focus to other regions like Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, where some firm buying interest was being seen.
However, very few bids and offers were heard in the market for FOB Kalimantan 5,900 kcal/kilogram GAR, which Platts assessed unchanged on the day at $72.40/mt FOB.