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Australia’s Newcastle coal exports fall; index at new low

01 Oct 2013 13:40:43 | csd

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The volume of coal shipped from the Australian port of Newcastle dropped further last week to 2.7m tonnes, as Asian spot demand remains weak.

Newcastle Port Corporation data released on Monday shows 8% less coal was shipped from the port’s three terminals in the seven-day period ending 07:00 hours Sydney time on 30 September, compared with the previous week.

Throughout September tepid Asian demand for spot deliveries of high-quality Australian thermal coal pushed the ICIS FOB Newcastle physical coal index to a new low of $78.31/tonne. The index outturned at $78.47/tonne in August.

And demand continues to look weaker, with the number of vessels with a notified arrival time for the three terminals dropping for the third week running. Currently, 38 ships have an allocated time are in transit – four fewer than a week earlier.

As exports continued to fall, stocks at the two Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS)-owned terminals increased by 13% week on week to 1.45m tonnes on Monday.

The stockpile was still rising on Tuesday, the latest data from Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator shows, and was above 1.5m tonnes on Tuesday. The third Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group-owned terminal does not publish stock information.

However, total exports from PWCS’s two coal terminals actually rose by 3% month on month in September to 9.3m tonnes. PWCS data shows that while Japanese imports fell to 4.1m tonnes in September – from the 4.8m tonnes imported in August – China upped its imports to 2.6m tonnes, from 2.2m tonnes in August. Manca Vitorino

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