Freight rates continue to underpin Turkish steam coal prices

Spot Turkey-delivered thermal coal prices inched up in the week to Friday supported by firm dry bulk freight rates given the lack of liquidity in the market, sources said.

S&P Global Platts assessed the weekly CIF Turkey 6,000 kcal/kg NAR 90-day price at $101/mt Friday, up $1 on week.

Rising freight rates to Turkey from Black Sea ports, Colombia and the US have fed into prices on a CIF basis to such an extent that some consumers said they would rather source domestic material where possible.

Platts Panamax Hampton Roads-Isdemir freight price was assessed at $14.50/mt Thursday, up $1.75 on the month.

Market sources said the stalemate of a wide bid-offer spread continued in the market.

“Consumers won’t pay much over $100/mt CIF,” said a Switzerland-based trader.

The source said producers were keen to keep prices over $101/mt CIF explaining Panamax freight from Baltic ports to Turkey is now around $17/mt, up from $14/mt six weeks ago.

A Turkey-based trader said he had not seen any major tenders in the market recently.

“I think some buyers are reluctant to take positions until they see what happens to the market in January,” said another Switzerland-based trader, adding some power plants were still in need of material for 2018.

The source gave fair market value for a Panamax shipment at $101/mt CIF.

Source: Platts

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