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November coal exports from Australia’s Gladstone sink to seven-month low of 5.4 mil mt

Volume of shipped coal from Gladstone in Queensland, Australia, slumped to a seven-month low of 5.40 million mt in November, with weak exports to its three biggest destinations: Japan, India and China, data from the Gladstone Ports Corporation showed Wednesday.

The November volume is down 13% from 6.23 million mt a year ago, and 7% lower than 5.79 million mt shipped in October, the data shows.

Last month’s export figure is the smallest volume sent in a single month since April when throughput was still limping from the impact of Cyclone Debbie that made a landfall late in March.

Demand for metallurgical coal is also expected to wane as China is set to close many of it steel production units between November and March, National Australia Bank said last month.

Exports from Gladstone to China in November stood at 891,000 mt, a drop of 23% from 1.16 million mt a year ago, and a 27% fall from 1.21 million mt in October, the GPC data shows. It’s the weakest monthly total sent to China in six months.

Similarly, the shipment volume to Japan was the weakest in seven months, totalling 1.62 million mt — which is down 24% from 2.13 million mt in the previous year, and 23% below 2.11 million mt in October, the data showed.

Exports to India totaled 1.08 million mt in November, down 36% from 1.69 million mt in November 2016 but up 4% from 1.04 million mt in October.

South Korea-bound volume bucked the trend in November, with exports surging to a 20-month high of 1.15 million mt. The volume marks an increase of 80% from 638,000 mt a year earlier and it’s 45% higher than 795,000 mt shipped in October, the data showed.

Export volumes to Taiwan were also 41% on the year at 256,000 mt, and up 83% from 140,000 mt in October. Approximately 70% of coal handled at the port is metallurgical coal and the rest is thermal, GPC says.
Source: Platts

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