November 2011 | Steel Raw Materials
Coking coal spot prices vulnerable to further declines: Coke and Coking Coal Highlights
Vale’s Australian coal operations are still facing difficulties associated with the first-quarter flooding.
Coking coal export prices have been trying to find a floor over the past few weeks as reports of buyers floating lower offers undermine the market. Spot prices for hard coking coal have fallen $10-15/tonne in the past week or so as demand weakens and supply levels remain at sufficient levels. MBR has not heard of any new capacity shutdown plans this week, but mills are holding to their plans to match steel supply with demand to support pricing.
US Steel confirmed that the blast furnace at its Serbian operations will remain idle through the fourth quarter. The plant relies on purchased coke, prices of which have been high on the back of a structural coke shortage following the recession. Capacity utilisation at US Steels European operations was down to 71% in the third quarter after reaching as high as 90% in the first quarter.
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