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Turkish thermal coal market suppressed by weak demand, falling European prices

London — The delivered price for thermal coal into Turkey has dropped again in the week to Friday on the back of low consumer demand and falling European prices.

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A Turkey-based consumer said the European price has been going down "day by day," explaining the price of Turkish coal has been following this trend recently.

The source said they have little need for material and will potentially release a tender at the end of the month but for now is focusing on procuring petcoke as it still remains cost effecting despite the rising price of petcoke.

The consumer said demand is likely to remain stunted now winter is concluding in Turkey , meaning utilities are likely to refrain from the spot market.

A Switzerland-based trader said demand has been low in Turkey, explaining buyers won't procure over $90/mt on a Panamax basis.

The source said as a result of low demand, Turkey prices have been following European prices down.

The source said Russian coal from the Black Sea remains a cheaper option than a Panamax from Baltic ports.

Sources were unanimous regarding the impending decision by the Turkish Energy Ministry on whether to increase the sulfur cap on imported thermal coal, saying there has been no update and no indication on when the decision will be made.

Sentiment regarding the sulfur decision remains that US imports to Turkey will increase as a result if the decision goes through.

The Switzerland-based trader said he heard Colakoglu was looking for 50,000 mt this week but did not hear any further details about this.

A Capesize vessel travelling from Colombia to Turkey with a freight rate of $6.95/mt for early April loading was reported Friday.

S&P Global Platts assessed the weekly CIF Turkey 6,000 kcal/kg NAR 90-day price at $90/mt, down $3 on week and down $9 on month.

--Piers De Wilde,