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Newcastle coal exports jump 28%; PWCS stocks steady

08 Jul 2013 13:01:33 | csd

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Coal stocks at the Port Waratah Coal Services terminals in the Australian port of Newcastle were only slightly depleted despite exports at all three terminals surging 28% week on week, latest data shows.

The increase in exports might have been helped by the lack of strike actions taken by PWCS workers during the week.

Newcastle Port Corporation said 2.97m tonnes was shipped in the seven-day period ending at 07:00 Sydney time on 8 July.

The Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator (HVCCC) data shows 2.39m tonnes was shipped from the two PWCS-owned terminals by midnight on 7 July, a 5% increase on a week earlier.

The third Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group-owned terminal does not release statistics for its exports or stocks, but available information indicates roughly 580,000 tonnes of coal was loaded and shipped during the week from that terminal.

Coal in stock at the PWCS terminals dropped 7.25% week on week at midnight on 8 July, HVCCC data shows. The 1.47m tonnes at the terminal is still above average end-of-week figures of 1.2m tonnes for coal in stock this year.

Liquidity at the FOB Newcastle physical spot market for 6,000Kcal/kg NAR coal dried up last week, with just three deals reported to ICIS. Prices continued to weaken for deals that did go through. An August cargo sold for $76.10/tonne on Thursday, the cheapest price since last October when some cargoes sold at $76.00/tonne.

Market talk has been dominated recently by suggestions that some Indian and Chinese buyers were struggling to secure credit lines to pay for cargoes. Broker globalCOAL reported on Friday evening that market participants think up to eight unperformed vessels lie off the coast of China.

The impasse between unionised PWCS workers and the company over wage and work conditions has yet to be resolved. But both sides have reported for several weeks a deal is close. The unionised workers have scaled down the number of protected actions taken recently as a result. Fionn O'Raghallaigh

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