Canada’s Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A TECK.B) (NYSE: TECK) announced that it has increased its steelmaking coal sales to China for Q4 2020 in response to increased demand.
Teck said sales have been at higher pricing levels compared to markets outside China. Estimated total fourth-quarter sales remain within the company’s existing guidance of 5.8-6.2 million tonnes, with approximately 20% of these sales now to Chinese customers.
Pricing in China for Teck’s steelmaking coal started to increase around the middle of the current quarter when a large portion of overall sales was already concluded, the company said. Additional spot sales to China were concluded gradually as the price was rising and achieved an average premium in excess of $35 per tonne above Australian FOB spot pricing at the time each sale was concluded.
In October, China suspended purchases of Australian coal as Beijing continued to tightly control imports of the fuel amid soured political relations with Canberra, after the capital called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
China reportedly told coal traders and users to stop imports from Australia with immediate effect in a move that would choke a major trade channel for both countries, a major escalation of political tensions between the pair.
Teck said its contract sales to Chinese customers are also priced on the basis of CFR China price assessments. The most recent three cargos, it said, were sold at prices between $160/tonne and $165/tonne CFR China.