150509Suppliers of construction materials into the building industry are taking strain because of the collapse of the residential housing market. Buildmax, which has been repositioned through two major acquisitions as an opencast coal mining contract and supplier of construction materials.photo Supplied

South African physical coal prices rebounded on Wednesday to the highest level since a short-lived rally in June, lifted by strikes in Colombia that constrained supply, traders said, with a trade at $91.05 a tonne for a September cargo on globalCOAL.

Prompt cargo values were bid strongly higher earlier this week, but no trades were reported.

Buyers in India, the single largest market for South African coal, said they had been holding out for another price fall and were not convinced this current recovery would last.

Utilities and traders in Europe cited the impact of strikes by Colombian rail workers and miners on supply and market sentiment as the reason for the price rise.

“These prices of $90 are not reflective of the true market. No end-user in India is going to pay these prices; there is still too much coal in stockpiles,” one Indian trader said.

Chinese buyers were bidding for standard-grade thermal coal at less than $84 a tonne delivered into China, traders said. - Reuters