THE amount of coal exported from Newcastle is down by about 9 per cent this year, official figures indicate.
Monthly summaries by the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Co-ordinator show that 24.4 million tonnes of coal was rail-hauled to the port in January and February, compared with 26.7 million tonnes for the first two months of 2015.
This 8.5-per cent volume reduction is important because until now, sales volumes had remained relatively strong despite the rout on prices. In 2015, volumes through Newcastle fell by just 0.5 per cent, indicating that the cuts in volume are only now starting to take effect.
In a separate posting, the Rio Tinto-backed Port Waratah Coal Services – operator of two of the port’s three coal loaders – confirmed that its export volumes were down by 9 per cent over January and February.
Last year, 50 per cent of PWCS coal went to Japan, followed by China (14 per cent), South Korea (10.5 per cent) and Taiwan (10 per cent).