* Oct ARA trades at $89.75/T, up 25c
* Colombia strikes may support prices
LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Physical prompt coal prices moved slightly higher on Wednesday but remained below $90.00 a tonne.
An October delivery DES ARA cargo traded at $89.75 a tonne, up 25 cents from Tuesday’s last trade.
Few bids or offers were seen for August cargoes as buyers in both the Atlantic and Pacific markets waited for further price drops and for any impact of continued Chinese price re-negotiations.
“Everybody is being hurt by China, everybody - and anybody who says they’re not is lying,” a Pacific-based producer said.
Indian traders struggling to get Chinese buyers to perform contracts at prices higher than current levels have also been hit by cancellations by Indian end-users.
This has left some of them with cargoes they are reluctant to stockpile for months until demand picks up, which they will have to sell, possibly at a loss.
Almost all the factors active in the coal market at present are bearish but Colombia could prove to be a surprise price-supporting element, traders and utilities said.
How far the strikes by workers at Prodeco’s coal mines in Colombia and the Colombian Fenoco railway, which transports coal mined by Prodeco, Drummond and Goldman Sachs to the ports, will support prices remains to be seen, they said.
So far, none of the Colombian exporters affected have declared force majeure - Cerrejon has never declared force majeure - but this will happen once stockpiles at the ports are loaded and shipped, they said.
A September South African cargo was bid at $85.00 and offered at $85.75, up around 50 cents.
An October DES ARA cargo was bid at $89.60 and offered at $89.50. The bid and offer were for different delivery points.
An October DES ARA cargo traded at $89.75, up 25 cents. (Reporting by Jacqueline Cowhig; editing by James Jukwey)