Nippon Steel agrees with Glencore, Teck on 43 percent rise in first quarter coking coal – by Yuka Obayashi (Reuters U.S. – December 13, 2016)

TOKYO – Japan’s biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel said on Tuesday it has agreed with Glencore Plc and Teck Resources Ltd on a coking coal price for first quarter of 2017 supplies that is 43 percent higher than the previous quarter.

The companies agreed on a price of $285 a ton for supplies of Australia’s premium hard coking coal for the January-March quarter next year, a Nippon Steel spokeswoman said, without giving any details.

If other international steelmakers follow this price, it would be the highest industry quarterly benchmark since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Nippon Steel’s agreements helps set a benchmark in Asia for supplies of coking coal, used in steel-making, which has nearly quadrupled in price over the past year as China cut production and reduced output at some mines.

“We can’t comment on any more details as we are still negotiating with other suppliers,” the Nippon spokeswoman said. Nippon Steel’s confirmation followed a statement from Teck on Monday that it agreed with major customers on a benchmark price of $285 a ton for the first quarter of 2017 for coking coal.

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