London: A fall in prices of prompt South African coal cargoes to around $100 (Rs4,000) a tonne free-on-board at the Richards Bay terminal is likely to draw out Indian buyers who have been on the market’s sidelines for the past month, traders and producers said.
“There were two bids at less than $100 for prompt South African yesterday (on Tuesday). At $100 or less there will be strong buying interest,” one Indian trader said.
Physical South African coal has not traded below $100 a tonne for several months. Freight rates have remained around $50 in recent weeks. Indian buyers have paid up to $170 a tonne including insurance and freight, but have been aiming to pay no more than $140 if possible.
India imported around 10 million tonnes of coal from South Africa in 2007. In early March, consumers said they expected exports to India to fall slightly because of prices were too high.