02-08-2016

Australia’s Newcastle PWCS coal exports to China hit 18-month high in July

Newcastleport

Coal exports to China from the Port Waratah Coal Services terminals at Australia’s Newcastle port hit an 18-month high of 1.80 million mt in July, up 75% month on month from 1.03 million mt in June, the Newcastle coal terminals operator said in a performance report Monday.

The export volume is the most reported by PWCS for a single month since January 2015 when 2.16 million mt was shipped and is some 460,000 mt more than the monthly average for the year to date.

Monthly average exports of 1.34 million mt to China from Newcastle’s PWCS terminals so far this year are exceeding the monthly average for 2015 which was 1.08 million mt, the data shows.

Other key exports destinations for PWCS — Japan and South Korea — also saw volumes grow month on month.

Japan’s offtake totaled 4.23 million mt, up by 6% from June but was lagging behind the year-to-date monthly average of 4.99 million mt, collected data showed.

Exports to South Korea climbed to 1.30 million mt in July from around 920,000 mt in June, while it too fell behind the year-to-date average of 1.37 million mt.

There were no coal exports from PWCS terminals to India for the second consecutive month in July, and for the third time in 2016. On average it has received around 100,000 mt each month.

Japan has received the lion’s share of PWCS coal exports in the first seven months of 2016 with 47%, while China’s offtake is 13%, South Korea’s offtake is also 13% and India’s share is 1%.

A total of 9.31 million mt was shipped from the terminals in July, up from 8.31 million mt in June, PWCS said.

July’s volume works out at an annualized rate of 110 million mt/year, 30 million mt below its 140 million mt/year capacity.

“July’s planned outbound throughput of 10,762,000 mt (127.1 million mt/year) finished 205,000 mt below target while actual outbound throughput finished the month at 9,305,000 mt (109.9 million mt/year), 785,000 mt below the declared outbound throughput,” the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator said Monday.

For the year to date, PWCS has shipped 62.71 million mt — which is an annualized rate of 107.8 million mt — up from 61.85 million mt at the same time last year, PWCS said.

Of July’s shipments, 89% were thermal coal with 11% coking coal, which is slightly more thermal coal than the year-to-date average of 87%, PWCS said.

Newcastle port has another coal terminal operated under the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group banner that does not publish regular information on its shipping data.

The NCIG terminal has a capacity of 66 million mt/year and is operated by five coal producers including BHP Billiton, Peabody Energy and Whitehaven Coal.

The PWCS terminals had 20 vessels queuing at August 1, which is almost double the year-to-date average of 11 ships, and higher than the 2015 average of 17, HVCCC said.

HVCCC said that based on current August nominations of 7 million mt and terminal demand, the queue at Port Waratah at the end of August is estimated to be 10.

Port stocks finished the month at 1.85 million mt, with 1.73 million mt at the Kooragang terminal and 115,992 mt at the Carrington terminal.

The Carrington terminal received delivery of two new shiploaders on July 24 and a 10-day outage began shortly after.

PWCS manager of development Terry Tynan told S&P Global last week that more capacity would be used at the Kooragang terminal to offset losses from the Carrington terminal and that total throughput would not be affected.

The commissioning and integration of the two shiploaders, which will replace three older ones, will run through to the end of the year with no impact to throughout volumes, Tynan said.

They will not bring any additional capacity once installed, he added.

Source: Platts 

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