Dalian coking coal futures scaled an eight-month peak on Thursday as a large-scale coal mine collapse in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region prompted safety checks, fanning fears of supply tightness.
Chinese leaders have sought a quick investigation into the cause of the collapse that killed four people and injured six others, with 49 missing.
The most-traded May coking coal DJMcv1 on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 2.6% higher at 2,020.50 yuan ($293.35) a tonne, after hitting 2,085 yuan, the highest since mid-June.
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Coke, the processed form of coking or metallurgical coal that is used in iron ore smelting, climbed 1.4% to 2,929.50 yuan a tonne. It earlier reached a three-week high of 2,979 yuan.
China is the world’ biggest steel manufacturer and Inner Mongolia is among its top coal suppliers that has been producing the commodity at a heightened rate for months now in response to a government call to boost local supply and stabilise prices.
Authorities in Inner Mongolia and in Shanxi and Shaanxi regions have ordered coal miners to immediately conduct safety checks and local authorities to carry out inspections.
“It is expected that safety inspections will become stricter,” Huatai Futures analysts said in a note.
Iron ore futures, meanwhile, remained restrained, with the most-active May contract on the DCE down 0.5% at 908.50 yuan ($131.90) a tonne, as traders exercised caution following the DCE’s move to curb speculative activity driving prices higher recently.
On the Singapore Exchange, the steelmaking ingredient’s benchmark March contract SZZFH3 was up 0.5% at $130.70 a tonne, as of 0700 GMT. Analysts at commodities broker Marex said Chinese regulators might take further actions to tame prices.
Steel benchmarks were also subdued, with rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SRBcv1 down 0.4%, hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 slipping 0.3%, and wire rod SWRcv1 adding 0.8%. Stainless steel SHSScv1 shed 1%.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)