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Australian PWCS coal terminals’ vessel queue falls to only one ship

Port Waratah Coal Services’ two terminals at Newcastle port in eastern Australia had one ship waiting offshore Sunday, down from two ships a week ago, the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator in a report Sunday said.

The queue for the PWCS terminals at the end of March is expected to be four vessels, and fewer than five vessels at the end of April, the coal chain coordinator said.

The PWCS terminals shipped out 1.65 million mt of coal in the week ended Sunday, down 261,900 mt from a week earlier, and the month-to-date exports totaled 5.04 million mt, the report showed.

Coal producers forecast ship arrivals in March at the PWCS terminals to total 8.4 million mt, and 9.2 million mt for April.

Coal throughput for Newcastle port’s railway last week was 3.36 million mt, HVCCC said.

Around 1.71 mt of coal was shipped through the NCIG terminal at Newcastle last week, according to S&P Global Platts data.

Carrington and Kooragang terminals at Port Waratah had combined stocks of 1.65 million mt available for export on Sunday, up 339,220 mt from the previous week.

Meanwhile, Gladstone port in Queensland had 22 ships in its queue Monday, and an additional three ships were loading at the Queensland port’s RG Tanna coal terminal, Gladstone Ports Corporation said.

Australian exports of thermal coal are estimated to be 203 million mt in the June 2018-2019 fiscal year, up 1.5% from the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to a recent report by Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Around 40% of Australia’s thermal coal exports are shipped to Japan, mostly under term contracts.

Australian thermal coal shippers and their Japanese customers have begun talks to decide benchmark prices for one-year delivered term contracts starting April 1, with offer prices heard at $102-$103/mt FOB Newcastle on a 6,300 kcal/kg GAR basis, versus a counter-bid of $95/mt FOB, according to market sources.

Japan’s April 2017-March 2018 term contract prices were settled at around $84/mt FOB Newcastle on a 6,300 kcal/kg GAR basis.

Source: Platts

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