As much of the steel value chain bathes in the warmth of multi-year price highs, premium metallurgical coal has been left in the cold. China’s Australian coal ban is casting a long shadow over the market and there just isn’t enough spot demand elsewhere to engineer a turnaround. Australian suppliers are adjusting to the realities of demand but PLV coal cuts look to be modest at best. A market recovery will depend on extra spot demand for Australian coals from non-China markets. India is key and the onset of monsoon is going to limit the chances of a sustainable recovery before late August. Fortunately global economies are being artificially stimulated, and India will see the commissioning of two new coke ovens this year. With the additional help of some extra demand from Europe in H2 prices for premium coals should be able to rise from their slumber. But expectations need to be tempered while China continues to spurn coal from the seaborne trade.