Australian Newcastle port's weekly coal shipments hit 4-month high at 3.1 mil mt
Perth (Platts)--13Nov2012/518 am EST/1018 GMT
Shipments of thermal and coking coal from the port of Newcastle in
eastern Australia jumped 11.5% week on week to 3.1 million mt in the
seven-day period to 7 am Sydney time Monday (2000 GMT Sunday), Newcastle Port
Corp. said in its latest coal shipment report Tuesday.
Newcastle's exports last hit 3.1 million mt/week in the seven days to
July 9, according to NPC data.
A total of 31 ships entered Newcastle to load coal cargoes at the port's
three coal terminals last week, an increase on the 28 ships that loaded 2.78
million mt of coal exports in the preceding week to November 5.
Twenty-two ships sailed from the two Port Waratah Coal Services
terminals at Newcastle last week. Ship-loading from the PWCS terminals was
flat last week at 2.04 million mt from the week ended November 4, the Hunter
Valley Coal Chain Coordinator said in a report Sunday.
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This implies the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group terminal, which is
operated by five coal companies, of which BHP Billiton and Yancoal Australia
are the largest shareholders, accounted for most of last week's increase in
Newcastle coal exports.
Figures on NCIG's coal throughput were not mentioned in the performance
report issued by HVCCC, but were estimated by Platts to be around 1 million
mt last week based on Newcastle and PWCS export data.
The NCIG terminal is relatively new, having officially opened in May
2010, and its capacity for coal exports increased to 53 million mt/year in
mid-2012 from 33 million mt/year in its first stage.
The PWCS terminals missed their combined target for coal exports last
week of 2.28 million mt by 233,000 mt, according to the HVCCC report.
Rail deliveries of coal exports to Newcastle's three coal terminals
amounted to 2.72 million mt in the seven-day period to Sunday; deliveries to
the NCIG terminal exceeded its target by 99,000 mt, while those to the PWCS
terminals fell 229,000 mt short, HVCCC's report said.
Only seven ships were queuing to load coal exports from the PWCS
terminals on Monday -- the lowest number of vessels for the calendar year to
date -- and the number is expected to edge up again in the weeks ahead, the
coal chain coordinator said in its report.
"The vessel queue is estimated to be 12 ships at the end of November
based on producer forecasts [for ship arrivals] of 8.5 million mt and
declared ship-loading of 8.3 million mt," HVCCC's report said.
A four-day shutdown of a large section of the Hunter Valley coal railway
to Newcastle port for maintenance is planned over November 20-24, according
to information posted on the HVCCC website.
Coal exports from Newcastle tend to dip during the port's quarterly rail
maintenance shutdowns, as coal trains are unable to deliver fresh cargoes to
shipping terminals, and port-side stocks become depleted.
--Mike Cooper, email@example.com
--Edited by Wendy Wells, firstname.lastname@example.org