Coking Coal Benchmark Declines to $145 a Metric Ton, Doyle Says

The coking coal benchmark contract for the third quarter fell to $145 a metric ton, the lowest level since 2009, when the terms were negotiated on an annual basis, Doyle Trading Consultants said today.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest coking coal exporter, agreed to a price 16 percent below that of the previous quarter, according to the New York-based energy research firm, which specializes in coal.

An 11 percent drop in the Australian dollar this year means the country’s producers of the steelmaking component are realizing a $9-per-metric-ton decline, compared with a $27 slide in the U.S., DTC said today.

“Margins at U.S. suppliers are razor-thin, and any push from buyers for discounts to the benchmark will be met with production cuts,” Doyle said in a report.

Jennifer White, a BHP spokeswoman in London, declined to comment, citing company policy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mario Parker in Chicago at mparker22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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