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Turkish thermal coal price edges up on bid/offer stalemate

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

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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.

--Joseph Clarke,
--Edited by Jonathan Dart,