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Xstrata declares force majeure on some Australian coal exports

29 Jan 2013 17:13:42 | csd

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Mining group Xstrata's Australian coal section has declared force majeure on some of its thermal coal shipments out of Queensland, the company said on Tuesday.

Eastern Australia has been hit by severe flooding. A spokeswoman for the Swiss miner said the transport of coal on rail haulage lines had been affected, rather than Xstrata's coal production.

"We have declared force majeure on a number of coal export vessels from the Port of Gladstone, as a result of flood damage to the Blackwater rail system. We are monitoring the situation and are in close contact with Aurizon, the network operator," the spokeswoman said in an email.

The floods in New South Wales and Queensland have already boosted assessments of coal swaps markets at FOB Newcastle in recent sessions, said traders, even though thermal coal production had so far not been affected.

Newcastle coal shipments

Weekly coal shipments from the Australian port of Newcastle continued to decline, but at a slower rate in the week ending 28 January, according to port authority data, but bad weather could hamper deliveries to the port this week.

Coal shipped over the seven-day period decreased by 3.6% to 2.7m tonnes week on week, Newcastle Port Corporation said on Tuesday.

Thirty vessels entered the port during the period, two more than the week before. The number of ships granted a notified arrival time was also up to 59 from 50.

Stocks at the two coal terminals operated by Port Waratah Coal Services increased by 940,000 tonnes, according to the Hunter Valley Chain Coordinator. Planned delivery rates for coal were 76,000 tonnes below target. FOR

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