03-12-2016

Coal exports from Australia’s NSW drop for 1st time in 15 years in FY 2015-2016

NES

Coal exports from the Australian state of New South Wales fell for the first time in 15 years in fiscal 2015-16 (July-June), industry-owned organisation Coal Services said Thursday.

The exports were down 3.4 million mt, or 1.9%, year on year at 169.6 million mt, from record exports in fiscal 2014-15 of 172.9 million mt, it added.

The drop was driven by lower volumes of thermal coal exports, which fell 3.3% year on year in fiscal 2015-16 to 144 million mt, accounting for 84.9% of all NSW coal shipments during the year, Coal Services said.

On the other hand, metallurgical coal exports — which cover hard coking coal, semi-soft coking and non-coking metallurgical PCI — increased, rising 6.2% year on year, or 1.5 million mt, to 25.6 million mt for fiscal 2015-16.

“Hard coking coal exports, which had increased to a record 8.2 million mt in fiscal year 2014-15, fell by 9% to 7.5 million mt in fiscal 2015-16, while other coking coal shipments rose 14% to 18.1 million mt,” it said.

NSW coal was shipped to 24 countries during the year, with the top four markets — Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan — accounting for 84.5% of the total tonnage, it said.

Japan remained the largest buyer of NSW coal with 74.8 million mt shipped to the country in fiscal 2015-16, up 4.6 million mt from the previous year. South Korea was the second largest market for NSW coal exports, relegating China to third place after four successive years as the second largest destination, it said.

South Korea was sent 28.4 million mt during the fiscal year, down 1.1 million mt year on year, while shipments to China slipped 9.9 million mt to 20.5 million mt after peaking at 37.8 million mt in fiscal 2013-14, it added.

Domestic sales of NSW coal, meanwhile, rose after years of falls.

“Deliveries of NSW coal within Australia had been decreasing steadily since 2007-08 with coal-powered electricity generation becoming more efficient or replaced by natural gas and renewable energy sources. However, to meet market demand, 2015-16 saw sales to domestic markets rise by 2.7% or 0.7 million mt to 26.5 million mt,” Coal Services said.

The coal was produced by 42 coal mines across the state in fiscal 2015-16, down from 44 the previous year, and from a peak of 62 in fiscal 2009-10, it said. Raw coal production totalled 246.8 million mt, down from 253.2 million mt a year earlier and from a peak of 261 million mt in fiscal 2013-14.

Saleable coal production had also peaked in fiscal 2013-14 at 196.6 million mt, before falling to 196.4 million mt in fiscal 2014-15 and then 191 million mt in fiscal 2015-16, it said.

Source: Platts 

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