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Stocks surge at PWCS terminals amid lingering weak demand for high-spec coal

22 Apr 2013 17:58:42 | csd


A dip in the number of ships that entered the port of Newcastle in Australia and continuing weak demand saw coal stocks at two of the port's terminals surge by 60% in week 16.

Data published by the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator (HVCCC) on Monday showed that stocks at the Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS)-owned terminals climbed to just under 1.52m tonnes at midnight, Sydney time, on Sunday, up from 949,231 tonnes one week earlier..

HVCCC stocks could be set to remain high. The company expects just 12 vessels to be waiting to enter its terminals at the end of April, eight less than the number it forecast in its monthly report at the end of March.

Meanwhile, the demand outlook on the prompt market looks weak for Australian high-spec coal. At a Coaltrans conference in Beijing last week, little evidence emerged of strong demand for international coal from China in the coming quarter, sources said. Instead, the mood was quite bearish.

The conference is viewed as one of the key places for assessing Chinese sentiment towards the international coal markets.

In total, 25 ships entered the port in the seven-day period ending 22 April, nine fewer than during the previous week, loading 2.43m tonnes, according to Newcastle Port Corporation information.

The PWCS terminals loaded about 1.72m tonnes on to 21 of the vessels, leaving roughly 707,000 tonnes as the volume exported during the week on four vessels loading at the port's third terminal, which is owned by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group. The terminal does not publish figures for its weekly coal stocks. Fionn O'Raghallaigh

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