New Delhi: Chinese domestic coking coal prices are expected to rise $14 per tonne next month, which could trigger problems for the Indian steel industry whose demand for coke is expected to touch 85.34 million metric tonnes by 2011-12.
“Chinese domestic coking coal prices are expected to rise by 100 yuan ($14) per tonnes for March delivery, pushed up by strong demand for coke,” the Metal Bulletin reported.
Coal producers in China are talking about raising prices next month in the face of strong demand as steel mills gradually ramp up production after the snowstorms, it quoted Chinese trading sources as saying.
Currently, coking coal is transacting at 1,300-1,400 yuan per tonne in Shanxi province, China’s largest coal and coke producer. This is double the price paid in the middle of last year.
Indian Steel Alliance sources told PTI that rise in Chinese coking coal prices could generate problems for the Indian steel industry as domestic firms are considerably dependent on the neighbouring country for coke.
Recent force majeure announcements by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto at several hard coking coal mines in Queensland, Australia, have also seriously affected many Asian steel mills and caused a global shortage of coking coal supply.