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Australia's Dalrymple Bay, Hay Point Oct coal exports steady from Sep
Views:5712   Update:2015-10-27 20:03:11
Exports from the two coal terminals at Hay Point port in central Queensland were steady in October from the month before, the port authority said Thursday. 

Dalrymple Bay coal terminal shipped 5.44 million mt of coal in October, in line with the 5.45 million mt it shipped in September, said North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation. 

The smaller Hay Point terminal, which serves only Bowen Basin coal mines operated by the BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi or BMA joint venture, shipped 3.9 million mt in October and 3.99 million mt in September, the authority said. 

A number of coal producers including Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto export coal via the multi-user Dalrymple Bay coal terminal, which like the Hay Point terminal is located within Hay Point port. 

Over January-October, Dalrymple Bay terminal shipped 58.28 million mt of coal, edging up from 57.3 million mt a year earlier, while the BMA terminal loaded 35.9 million mt, up from 34.87 million mt the year before. 

Dalrymple Bay terminal's vessel queue has been hovering at just under 10 ships in recent weeks, which is considered low for the terminal. 

Three ships arrived Wednesday to join seven ships already waiting in the facility's offshore vessel queue, said a source close to the terminal. 

The short queue is likely due to weak coal demand, the source said. 

The financial stress facing miners due to low global coal prices and low demand may also be exacerbated by their fixed costs, particularly as the Australian dollar's devaluation has stalled at 71 cents; miners typically sell coal in US dollars, sources said. 

A relatively short vessel queue could also mean Dalrymple Bay was not being used to its full capacity of 85 million mt/year, or 7 million mt/month, although this could enable some opportunistic maintenance to be carried out, the source said, noting Australia's tropical cyclone season began November 1. 

The tropical cyclone season typically lasts through to April 30, however this year's forecast is for a less active season than in recent years due to the El Nino weather pattern, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in an October 27 bulletin. 

Separately, coal exports from the Glencore-operated Abbot Point terminal in northern Queensland fell 32.9% month on month to 2.06 million mt in October, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation data showed. 

Over January-October, it shipped 23.1 million mt of coal exports, up from 21.54 million mt the year before.
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