Mumbai: Metallurgical coke producer Gujarat NRE Coke expects long-term coking coal price contracts to be signed “anytime now” at over $200 per tonne, its managing director told Reuters on Tuesday.
Coking coal producers re-negotiate prices every year by January, but a spike in prices this year extended negotiations beyond the customary closure, managing director Arun Kumar Jagatramka said over the telephone.
“Coking coal prices are running very tight. For 2010, the outlook is very strong. Current year contract prices are expected above $200,” Jagatramka said.
Every year, mining giants such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto negotiate supply prices with global steel firms, based on which, Indian companies decide long-term contracts with local and international miners.
Prices are still far below a 2008 peak of $755 a tonne. Steel capacities were locked up in the face of the global financial crisis in 2009, which saw export enquiries drying up.
Now things are looking up, he said.
“It could be an anytime, as we are talking, we can see an announcement today, tomorrow,” he said, referring to annual pricing contracts between miners and steel firms.
Currently, spot coking coal prices are above $220 a tonne compared with $128 the same time last year, he added.