Australia Newcastle port's coal shipments pick up in spite of coastal sea swells
Perth (Platts)--27Feb2013/542 am EST/1042 GMT
Exports of thermal and coking coal from Newcastle port in eastern
Australia recovered to 2.17 million mt in the seven-day period ended Monday,
a rise of 19% on 1.82 million mt shipped in the week ended February 18, said
Newcastle Port Corp. in its latest coal exports report released Wednesday.
Shipments increased from Newcastle port despite a spate of rough weather
at the weekend including coastal sea swells, and a total of 26 ships berthed
at Newcastle port's three coal terminals in the week period ended Monday,
compared with 30 vessels in the preceding week.
The two Port Waratah-operated coal terminals at Newcastle port loaded
1.69 million mt of coal cargoes onto 21 visiting ships in the seven-day
period to Sunday, said the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator in a report,
This represents a decrease on the PWCS terminals' vessel loading volume
of 1.81 million mt onto 19 ships in the preceding week ended February 17,
according to HVCCC data.
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"PWCS shiploading for the week is at a rate of 88.4 million mt per annum
with a month-to-date rate of 99.7 million mt per annum. PWCS port stocks have
increased to 1.2 million mt," said HVCCC in its latest performance report on
the Newcastle coal chain.
Data for coal shipments from the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group
terminal at Newcastle port were not mentioned in HVCCC's report, but seem to
have amounted to around 480,000 mt last week, according to Platts'
The number of ships waiting to enter PWCS' Carrington and Kooragang coal
terminals at Newcastle was stable at 16 vessels on Monday, and was up
slightly on 12 ships a week earlier on February 17, said the Coal Chain
HVCCC said in its report Sunday that it expects ship numbers for PWCS to
stay relatively stable for the rest of the month and then for the PWCS vessel
queue to grow to 23 ships by the end of March.
"February's [vessel loading] nominations for PWCS are currently 8
million mt. Based on current terminal demand, the queue at PWCS is estimated
to be 17 [ships] at the end of the week," said the Hunter Valley Coal Chain
Coordinator in its latest report.
Newcastle port is used by a dozen coal producers such as BHP Billiton,
Rio Tinto and Xstrata to ship mostly thermal and some coking coal exports
from their mines in the Australian state of New South Wales.
RAIL DELIVERIES STABLE
Railings of coal cargoes from New South Wales mines to Newcastle port's
three coal terminals were stable week on week at 2.74 million mt, compared
with 2.72 million mt in the previous week, said HVCCC's report.
Deliveries of coal from Hunter Valley coal mines to Newcastle port were
disrupted by a 48-hour strike by unionized staff at Pacific National's coal
haulage unit in New South Wales on the weekend of February 8-10.
Pacific National's Australian parent company Asciano and the Rail, Tram
and Bus Union have been attending talks mediated by workplace relations
agency Fair Work Australia since February 12 in an effort to resolve the
industrial dispute that led to strike action.
In an update Monday, an Asciano spokeswoman said the talks were
continuing. "There were discussions before Fair Work Australia last week,"
the spokeswoman said.
Railings of coal exports into Newcastle port could slow dramatically
between March 11-16, as four days of maintenance are planned for a large
section of the Hunter Valley rail system serving the port, said the Hunter
Valley Coal Chain Coordinator in a report on its website.
--Mike Cooper, email@example.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, firstname.lastname@example.org