South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal exported 6.16 million mt of coal in July, climbing 16.2% month-on-month to a three-month high, but falling 1.9% year-on-year, according to the latest operating statistics released by the port Thursday.
The exports were shipped in 31 Capesize vessels, eight Panamax ships and nine Handysize cargoes, RBCT said.
For the first time, the port provided a breakdown of the regions where South African coal was shipped during the month.
The largest chunk of exports -- 45% or 2.77 million mt -- went to South Asia, which includes large importing countries such as India and Pakistan.
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East Asia, which consists of noteworthy coal importing countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, imported 1.97 million mt, 32% of total exports.
West Asia, including Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait, imported 9% or 549,542 mt of the total RBCT exports, while exports to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore) amounted to 142,997 mt, or 2% of the total volume.
Europe received 511,778 mt of RBCT exports, 8.3% of the total, while East Africa imported 185,048 mt (3%) and South America imported 32,997 mt (1%) of South African coal.
So far this year, RBCT has exported 39.21 million mt of coal, comprising 14.78 million mt to South Asia (38%), 10.95 million mt to East Asia (28%), 6 million mt to Europe (15.3), 4.6 million mt to West Asia (12%), 1.47 million mt to Africa (3.7%), 1.14 million mt to Southeast Asia (3%) and 254,501 mt to South America (1%), according to port statistics.
State logistics group Transnet Freight Rail railed 6.26 million mt of coal to the 91 million mt/year terminal in 743 trains during July, climbing 10.1% from June's railings and 3% year-on-year to a four-month high.
TFR has railed 39.82 million mt of coal to RBCT in the first seven months of the year.
Stocks at the terminal at the end of July were at 3.1 million mt, increasing 9.1% from the end of June and the same jump compared to the end of July 2012. Trading sources told Platts Wednesday that stocks had risen to around 4 million mt.
FOB prices of spot cargoes of standard 6,000 kcal/kg NAR South African thermal coal were relatively steady during July, falling 1.8% to $71.90/mt at the end of the month from $73.20/mt at the end of June, according to Platts data.
Trading sources attributed low prices to limited Indian buying due to the weak rupee against the dollar and the monsoon season, as well as Chinese buyers facing credit issues and cheaper domestic Chinese cargoes hindering imports.
--Jacqueline Holman, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Dart, email@example.com