April S.Africa cargo trades at $83.00/T FOB.
Prompt cargo prices for coal delivered into Europe were little changed after a day of fairly quiet trade. The global coal markets have been subdued as the Lunar New Year holidays have kept Chinese buyers out of the market this week. "Prices fell a little this morning but recovered to end nearly unchanged. It's been extremely quiet," one trader said.
Indian buyers are still seeking April and May South African cargoes at prices linked to the API4 index.
Demand from Indian end-users has remained strong, Indian traders said on Friday.
New entrants to the coal market such as traders Mercuria, Trafigura and Gunvor are likely to focus on Asian markets where coal demand will grow strongly such as India and China, as evidenced by Mercuria's South African coal deal with black mining house Optimum Coal Holdings .
Mercuria will market any coal not committed to BHP Billiton for 10 years in return for a commission percentage. The intial tonnage will be around 1.3 millioon tonnes a year.
A May loading South African panamax cargo traded via brokers on Friday at $82.75 a tonne FOB Richards Bay, unchanged from Thursday.
An April loading South African cargo traded via a second broker at $83.00 a tonne FOB Richards Bay, also unchanged from Thursday.
A May-loading South African coal cargo was offered at $83.00 a tonne FOB Richards Bay, up from $81.00 on Thursday.
A May delivery DES ARA cargo was bid at $72.50 and offered at $76.25, little changed.
A June delivery DES cargo was bid at $73.00.