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Coal stocks at Newcastle port slump after strike

11 Feb 2013 17:48:33 | csd


Coal stocks at Newcastle port in Australia have slumped as the effect of a two-day strike by railway workers is felt.

Combined stocks at the port slumped to 635,000 tonnes on 10 February, down from about 1.1m tonnes a week earlier, Hunter Valley Chain Coordinator data reveals.

Railway workers in New South Wales for freight company Pacific National Coal started a two-day strike on Friday. Pacific National estimated the strike would prevent 600,000 tonnes of coal from reaching the port.

"It needs to be understood that the 600,000 tonnes of delivered coal lost as a result of this action cannot be recovered in the future. NSW Coal Chains operate at maximum capacity every day of the week, meaning these losses are real," said David Irwin, a director of Pacific National Coal.

The workers have returned to work and no further strike action is set yet. Nearly 3m tonnes of coal was shipped from the port in the seven-day period ending 11 February, port authority data shows, up from 2.4m a week earlier.

More ships entered the port week on week too, at 32, but only nine vessels have a notified arrival time for the port, a considerable drop from 50 the week before. Fionn O'Raghallaigh

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