Turkish thermal coal price edges up on bid/offer stalemate

The Turkish thermal coal market saw little change in the week as high prices did little to entice end-users into the spot market.

Utilities were well covered by term contracts and not expected to tender for any spot volumes over the coming weeks, while cement plants were either purchasing more fuel-efficient petcoke or sourcing smaller parcels of coal from local traders rather than the seaborne market.

Platts 90-day CIF Turkey 6,000 kcal/kg NAR price was assessed at $102/mt Friday, up $1 week on week.

Dry bulk freight rates from Colombia and Russia to the Atlantic basin remained high over the last week, leaving offers on a CIF Turkey basis comfortably above $100/mt.

“Prices above $100/mt CIF Turkey are too expensive for us, we will purchase petcoke instead,” a source at a Turkey-based cement plant said.

Adjusted to 6,000 kcal/kg NAR basis, Platts 5% sulfur CIF Turkey petcoke price is $83.20/mt, $18.80 cheaper than the current CIF Turkey steam coal price.

A second Turkey-based cement plant purchased 60,000 mt recently from local sources. The coal was around 5,800 kcal/kg NAR quality and due to being from local traders the final price of $96/mt was not reflective of offers on a CIF Turkey basis, the source said.

The source added they would continue to procure smaller parcels from local sources in the coming months due to imported cargoes being offered above $100/mt CIF Turkey.

“Some buyers are looking for small volumes, but in recent months they have cancelled any tender where offer prices are above $100/mt CIF basis,” a Mediterranean-based trader said.

The source gave a fair market value of $103/mt CIF Turkey, although they did not expect many buyers to purchase above the high $90s/mt.

Source: Platts

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