Thermal coal exports from the port of Newcastle in Australia rose 22.7% month on month to 10.1m tonnes in July, according to the latest data by Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) which operates two of the port’s three coal export terminals.
This the largest export volume recorded so far this year but is in line with historic trends. PWCS data show 10.3m tonnes of coal was exported in July 2013, up 11.4% compared to exports in June 2013. Out of the 10.1m tonnes exported last month, thermal coal accounted for 8.9m tonnes (or 89%), while the remaining 1.2m tonnes were coking coal.
Japan remained the main buyer of Australian coal last month, importing 4.9m tonnes or 48.80% of the total. This was just below the 4.8m tonnes of coal Japan imported in July 2013 but 48.8% higher compared to the volume of coal exported to Japan in June 2014.
China was the second biggest importer of coal from Australia, importing 1.9m tonnes in July, down 12.6% month on month.
Market participants have reported a pickup in buying activity of Australian coal from India over the last couple of weeks due to lower prices of Australian coal, compared to its traditional South African FOB RB market.
However, India imported just 0.36% – 230,658 tonnes – of coal exported from port of Newcastle between January and July, according to data from Port Waratah Coal Services.
In July, the lowest reported price for a spot physical cargo of 6,000kCal/kg FOB Newcastle coal was $67.50/tonne, compared to the FOB RB low of $69.10/tonne, ICIS data show. However, it is unlikely that any tonnes contracted during July would have already appeared in Newcastle July exports as most of the deals would be done for delivery within a 90-day window. Stacy Irish