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Australia’s Newcastle coal exports decline as demand outlook weakens

08 Apr 2013 13:25:00 | csd


The amount of coal exported from the Australian port of Newcastle declined by 16% in the week ending 7 April, according to port authority data published on Monday, a trend that could continue throughout April as shipping data hints at weaker demand.

The Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator (HVCCC) expects the number of vessels queuing to load up at the two Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS)-owned Newcastle terminals to drop to 15 by the end of April.

In its monthly report for March, HVCCC forecast that the queue at the end of April would contain 20 ships.

The number of vessels for which Newcastle Port Corporation has granted a notified arrival time has dropped to 39 from 50 a week earlier, the port authority said on Monday.

However, Newcastle Port Corporation said 13 vessels are waiting off the port to load at the three Newcastle port terminals. Last week the figure was five.

Combined figures

In the seven-day period ending 8 April, 28 vessels loaded about 2.5m tonnes of coal at the three terminals, Newcastle Port Corporation said.

HVCCC said 2.07m tonnes was loaded at the two PWCS-owned terminals. The third terminal, owned by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, does not supply export data, but the combined HVCCC and Newcastle Port Corporation data indicate that more than 500,000 tonnes was shipped from that terminal during the week.

Coal stocks at the PWCS-owned terminals increased for the third consecutive week to 1.6m tonnes 12% higher week on week.

Deal activity at the physical FOB Newcastle market has dried up considerably recently. The last reported deal for 6,000Kcal/kg NAR coal reported to ICIS was on 2 April.

Market participants have linked the lack of activity to the continued stalemate in the negotiations between Australian coal producers and Japanese utilities for an annual-supply deal. Fionn O'Raghallaigh

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