18-07-2017

Turkish thermal coal prices dip on higher availability, thin demand

TC

Turkish thermal coal spot prices pulled back last week on increased availability, bucking the trend seen across the wider European market as sources affirmed there was negligible buying interest at current levels.

S&P Global Platts assessed the weekly CIF Turkey 6,000 kcal/kg NAR 90-day price at $85/mt Friday, $1 lower on the week.

"It's a very lazy summer this year," a trader in the country said. "It's been one of the slowest I have seen and it's becoming worrying -- there is less and less business for us."

Despite the slow demand, views on the market price were mixed. A number of sellers said rising European values plus premiums of around $7/mt into Turkey meant offers of around $86-$89/mt, while others said that such prices would garner no interest from local buyers.

"There are two or three 50,000-60,000 mt cargoes offered for mid-August this week from the US and Canada," the local trader said. "The specification of at least one was low sulfur, high CV, so it would have been perfect for some of the buyers who had expressed interest, but still they don't want to commit to cargoes of this size at this time... they expect some fall in prices and maintenance season is coming up."

A Europe-based trader with a producer expressed similar sentiments, saying premiums had shrunk to around $5-$6/mt against European prices.

"No business will be done [at a premium of $7]... the discussions we have been having with customers are based around the requirements for the next year at this stage. There's no spot interest at all."

This was evident in the dearth of new expressions of interest from Turkish coal buyers in the last few weeks, leaving many unclear as to where prices were currently sitting.

Cement producer Akcansa Cimento had still not yet formally launched a buy tender for August, according to a number of sources, although the company continued to make inquiries to gauge the direction of prices.

"There were two deals concluded in the previous weeks, Russian coal from the Black Sea at $85/mt to Nuh Cimento, while Akcansa got around 20,000 mt at $88.25/mt CIF," a second seller to the country said.

Several sources said the spread between the two deals and the circumstances around each had made for a confusing picture.

Source- Platts

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