Australian coal exports hit record high
Australia’s thermal coal exports have grown 14 percent on the back of high demand from Asia.
Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) data released on Tuesday revealed that the value of thermal coal exports rose 14 percent in July to 2.45 billion Australian dollars (1.74 billion U.S. dollars).
Export volume rose to an all-time high of 19.87 million tonnes; a rate that, if upheld, would see Australia export 238 million tonnes of thermal coal per year.
Andrew Cosgrove, a mining analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said that coal prices would remain high for the remainder of 2018 because of demand in China and India.
Coal-fired power generation in China was up 7.3 percent between January and July compared to the same period in 2018.
“As a result, we expect an even tighter seaborne market by the end of the year,” Cosgrove told News Corp Australia on Tuesday.
“Overall, (Australian) exports appear to be supported by sustained demand in China.”
Thermal coal, also known as steam coal, is most commonly used for power and heat generation.
Matt Canavan, Australia’s minister for resources, said the figures strengthened the case for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
“Those who keep saying coal is dead get proven wrong time and time again,” he said.
“It has been clear for years that with so many coal stations being built in Asia there was always going to be strong demand for Australian coal in coming years.”
Combined coal was Australia’s top export for the third month straight in July, beating iron ore.