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Australia’s North Queensland June coal exports surge to multi-year highs

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Source: Google, July 10, 2019

Australia’s North Queensland exported record volumes of coal in June, data from the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corp. showed Monday.



The three terminals in the area exported a total combined volume — including thermal coal — of 14.55 million mt in June, up 14% year on year and 15% month on month, data showed. It’s the highest monthly total since at least January 2014, the data showed.



In December 2015, a new berth was opened at the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance-owned Hay Point Coal Terminal which lifted capacity from 44 million mt/year to 55 million mt/year.



During June, HPCT’s throughput translated to a capacity-breaching annualized rate of 58.66 million mt/year.



The neighboring Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, or DBCT’s, June volume also surged to a 22-month high of 6.94 million mt, showing a 16% lift year on year and 27% increase month on month, the NQBP data showed.



That took DBCT’s annualized rate for the month to 84.46 million mt/year, just shy of its nameplate capacity of 85 million mt/year.



The northern-most of the terminals, Abbot Point, also saw a strong lift in exports for the month. Abbot Point exported 2.79 million mt of coal, which is a 10-month high, up 9% year on year and 15% from May, the NQBP figures showed.



The terminal, however, still has plenty of unused capacity with the June figure representing an annualized rate of 33.91 million mt/year against its nameplate capacity of 50 million mt/year.



The three terminals’ combined annualized rate in June was 177.03 million mt/year which compares to just 145.50 million mt/year for January-June.



Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science last week estimated that the country’s total metallurgical coal export volumes rose by 1 million mt in the 2018-2019 (July-June) fiscal year to 180 million mt. It forecast stronger growth in the current and next fiscals.



Australia is expected to export 188 million mt of metallurgical coal in 2019-2020 and 198 million mt in 2020-2021, the department said in its Resources and Energy Quarterly report.



“The forecast growth in Australia’s metallurgical coal export volumes reflects several factors. A raft of restarts and ramp-ups at key mines, including Cook, Balaraba, Byerwen and Gregory Crinum, are expected to contribute to supply growth,” it said in the report.



“Supply has also been recovering from disruptions caused by weather, infrastructure, and technical issues,” it said, noting that a fire at Peabody’s North Goonyella mine in late 2018 resulted in a cessation of production and a restart is not expected until at least early 2020.



DBCT’s export volumes for July looked to be easing back from June. The terminal is targeting an annualized rate of 75.36 million mt/year, however, for the month to Sunday it was running at a rate of 49.1 million mt/year, according to data from Integrated Logistics Co.



Port stocks at DBCT stood at 564,256 mt on Sunday with ship queues of 29, compared to stocks of 1.09 million mt about a month earlier and a queue of 30 ships, data from Integrated Logistics showed.



The data from the terminals do not categorize coal types, but the majority is metallurgical coal.

News Source: Platts

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