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Australia’s Newcastle coal exports hit record in week 43

28 Oct 2013 14:49:34 | csd

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The volume of coal shipped from the Australian port of Newcastle rose to its record weekly level last week at 3.61m tonnes.

Newcastle Port Corp data released on 28 October shows 12% more coal was shipped week on week from the port’s three terminals in the seven-day period ending 07:00 hours Sydney time on 27 October. The previous high was set in week 35 at 3.4m tonnes.

Last week’s shipments were also 2.2% above last year’s weekly high of 3.5m tonnes, shipped in the last week of 2012, and 30% above the 2.77m tonnes shipped in week 43 of 2012.

The rise in exports depleted the stocks at the two Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS)-owned terminals to 1.18m tonnes, down 5.1% from the end of last week. The third Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group-owned terminal does not publish stock information.

With 6,000kCal/kg NAR Australian coal physical contracts on the rise over recent weeks, market participants said last week that few would be willing to buy at such high prices, particularly as the market is still heavy with offers for December-loading cargoes.

Despite this, FOB Newcastle December ’13 last changed hands at $84.50/tonne last Thursday – up $0.50/tonne day on day – but was bid higher at $84.60/tonne and offered at $85.25/tonne on Friday. Newcastle physical coal for spot delivery last traded above this level in June, ICIS data shows.

Meanwhile, Australian transport company Asciano last week warned that bushfires have already caused extensive damage to parts of the Western Railway used for coal haulage in the state of New South Wales (NSW).

Western Railway operator NSW TrainLink said last Friday that part of its train services have been suspended until further notice because of bushfire damage to rail infrastructure. Manca Vitorino

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