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Vessel queue at Australia’s PWCS coal terminals in Newcastle hits 9-week high of 27 ships


The number of ships queuing to load coal from the Port Waratah Coal Services terminals in Australia’s Newcastle port rose to a nine-week high of 27 for the week ended November 13, the logistics coordinator for the Hunter Valley coal chain said Monday.

The queue, which is the longest reported in the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator’s weekly report for the New South Wales-based terminals since September 12 when 30 ships were waiting, is eight ships more than last week’s queue and 13 ships more than the year-to-date average queue of 14.

Based on current terminal demand, HVCCC expects the queue at the 145 million mt/year shipment capacity PWCS terminals to ease back to 18 vessels by the end of the month.

Inbound coal receivals at PWCS for the week ended Sunday were 3.30 million mt, down from 3.44 million mt the previous week, HVCCC said.

Port Waratah port stocks finished the week at 1.60 million mt, down by 161,000 mt from the previous week, it said.

The month-to-date shiploading for November at PWCS is currently 4.56 million mt, which translates to an annualized rate of 128.3 million mt/year, the report said.

The shiploading annualized rate is up from October’s rate of 108.7 million mt/year when a total 8.69 million mt was shipped.

The Hunter Valley rail network — which connects mines in the region to the Newcastle port — is due to undergo maintenance works over November 21-25, when “a massive package of work will take place to allow us to avoid major works over the Christmas-New Year holidays,” the Australian Rail Track Corporation said.

Centennial Coal, Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy and Whitehaven are among coal shippers that use the PWCS terminals in the state of New South Wales. PORT KEMBLA, DALRYMPLE BAY

Further south in New South Wales, the Port Kembla Coal Terminal had two vessels assembled and one queuing. A week earlier there were no vessels assembled or queuing, the port operator said.

Throughput at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal rose by 70% week on week to 176,449 mt, after dipping to 103,924 mt in the first week of November, data from the operator said.

In October throughput had averaged at 142,686 mt/week.

Coal stocks at PKCT were down from 334,650 mt last week, to 282,983 mt for the week ended November 13, the figures showed.

Other than PWCS and PKCT, the only remaining coal terminal in New South Wales is the 66 million mt/year Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group terminal at Newcastle port, but it does not regularly publish shipping information.

In the Australian state of Queensland, the 85 million mt/year nameplate capacity Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal had two ships loading as of Monday, and eight at anchor, which compares to two loading and nine at anchor a week earlier, DBCT management said.

Over November 8-13, DBCT loaded 1.07 million mt of coal onto ships, a report by DBCT management released on Monday said.

The six-day loadings figure translates to an annualized rate of 64.90 million mt/year, which compares to DBCT’s January-September annualized rate of 68.46 million mt/year.

DBCT had 1.16 million mt of coal in stockpiles as of November 13, up from 978,103 mt as on November 8, DBCT management said.

Queensland’s RG Tanna Coal Terminal at the Port of Gladstone had three vessels at berth and nine at anchor this week, compared to three at berth and nine at anchor a week earlier, the Gladstone Ports Corporation said.

Shipping data from Queensland’s other coal terminals, Abbott Point, Hay Point and the Queensland Bulk Handling terminal at the Port of Brisbane was not readily available.

Source: Platts 

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