Latest market news

Heavy rain disrupts Australian coal ports

  • Market: Coal, Coking coal
  • 01/03/22

The Queensland port of Brisbane has been closed because of flooding, and ships have been ordered off anchorage at the New South Wales (NSW) ports of Newcastle and Port Kembla as a result of heavy rain and storms along the east coast of Australia.

All vessel movements have been halted at Brisbane, after large parts of the city was flooded on 28 February. It is the smallest of Queensland coal export terminals, with 3.5mn t shipped in 2021, down from 4.39mn t in 2020 following the ramp-down of New Hope's New Acland coal mine. New Hope is the 100pc owner of Queensland Bulk, the operator of the 10mn t/yr Brisbane coal terminal.

The heavy rain has largely fallen in southeast Queensland, including along sections of the West Morton rail line, which connects Chinese-owned firm Yancoal's Yarrabee and Cameby Downs mines to the port of Brisbane. There was also lighter rain across on the Surat and southern Bowen basins, with already saturated mines more prone to flooding than normal.

The rain is moving south, with ships ordered off anchorage at the port of Newcastle. There were 32 ships waiting to enter the port today, down from 46 a month ago but still above the average of around 12. The NSW coal mining regions of Hunter Valley and Illawarra have received persistent rainfall over the past week, with heavier rain expected during 1-3 March. The rain follows the wettest November on record, which left coal mines saturated and close to or at their limits for the volume of water that they can discharge into the environment.

Newcastle shipped 13.98mn t of coal in January, according to official port data, driven by strong output from the Port Waratah Coal Services terminals at 10.22mn t. Exports from the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure (NCIG) terminal fell to 3.76mn t in January from 4.32mn t in December. The NCIG shipments were up from the 3.48mn t shipped in January 2021, when it was operating with only one shiploader, but down from 4.49mn t in the more comparable January 2020.

The heavy rain has not reached the more northerly Queensland ports, with the ship queue outside the neighboring ports of Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay at 27, up slightly from 26 in mid-February. Gladstone had 37 vessels queuing, up from 32, and Abbot Point had five, down from eight, over the same comparison.


Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
19/07/24

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules

Washington, 19 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump promised to redirect US green energy spending to other projects, throw out electric vehicle (EV) rules and increase drilling, in a speech Thursday night formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination. Trump's acceptance speech, delivered at the Republican National Convention, offered the clearest hints yet at his potential plans for dismantling the Inflation Reduction Act and the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. Without explicitly naming the two laws, Trump said he would claw back unspent funds for the "Green New Scam," a shorthand he has used in the past to criticize spending on wind, solar, EVs, energy infrastructure and climate resilience. "All of the trillions of dollars that are sitting there not yet spent, we will redirect that money for important projects like roads, bridges, dams, and we will not allow it to be spent on the meaningless Green New Scam ideas," Trump said during the final night of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Trump and his campaign have yet to clearly detail their plans for the two laws, which collectively provide hundreds of billions of dollars worth of federal tax credits and direct spending for renewable energy, EVs, clean hydrogen, carbon capture, sustainable aviation fuel, biofuels, nuclear and advanced manufacturing. Repealing those programs outright could be politically difficult because a majority of spending from the two laws have flowed to districts represented by Republican lawmakers. The speech was Trump's first public remarks since he was grazed by a bullet in an assassination attempt on 13 July. Trump used the shooting to call for the country to unite, but he repeatedly slipped back into the divisive rhetoric of his campaign and his grievances against President Joe Biden, who he claimed was the worst president in US history. Trump vowed to "end the electric vehicle mandate" on the first day of his administration, in an apparent reference to tailpipe rules that are expected to result in about 54pc of new cars and trucks sales being battery-only EVs by model year 2032. Trump also said that unless automakers put their manufacturing facilities in the US, he would put tariffs of 100-200pc on imported vehicles. To tackle inflation, Trump said he would bring down interest rates, which are controlled by the US Federal Reserve, an agency that historically acts independently from the White House. Trump also said he would bring down prices for energy through a policy of "drill, baby, drill" and cutting regulations. Trump also vowed to pursue tax cuts, tariffs and the "largest deportation in history," all of which independent economists say would add to inflation. The Republican convention unfolded as Biden, who is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, faces a growing chorus of top Democratic lawmakers pressuring him to drop out of the presidential race. Democrats plan to select their presidential nominee during an early virtual roll-call vote or at the Democratic National Convention on 19-22 August. By Chris Knigh t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Find out more
News

Australia’s Whitehaven hits 2023-24 coal guidance


19/07/24
News
19/07/24

Australia’s Whitehaven hits 2023-24 coal guidance

Sydney, 19 July (Argus) — Australian coal producer Whitehaven met its production guidance for its New South Wales (NSW) mines in the 2023-24 fiscal year to 30 June, with managed run-of-mine (ROM) output from its newly acquired Queensland mines also meeting their guidance. Saleable coal production at Whitehaven's NSW-based assets totalled 16.7mn t for 2023-24, up by 6pc on the 15.7mn t recorded last fiscal year and within its guidance for 2023-24 of 16mn-17.5mn t. Saleable output from NSW for April-June was 4.3mn t, 11pc higher than January-March's 3.87mn t and above the year earlier figure of 3.83mn t. Saleable production from Queensland totalled 4mn t, Whitehaven's first quarter since acquiring Australian-Japanese joint venture BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's 12mn t/yr Blackwater and 4mn t/yr Daunia coking and thermal coal mines on 2 April. Queensland coal sales of 3.2mn t for the quarter reflected slippage into July-September because of now resolved, transition-related rail constraints from Daunia, Whitehaven said. A selldown of around 20pc of Blackwater to global steel producers is progressing, the firm reported, without providing further details. The first production and sales have been achieved at the 10mn t/yr Vickery mine , while operations ceased during April at the 2.5mn t/yr ROM capacity Werris Creek mine. Whitehaven's overall unaudited unit cost guidance, excluding royalties, for NSW in 2023-24 was A$114/t ($76/t), above the guidance range of A$103-113/t because of lower production at Narrabri and underlying inflation. Capital expenditure was A$380mn, below the 2023-24 guidance of A$400-480mn. The Argus high-grade 6,000 kcal/kg NAR price averaged $133.46/t fob Newcastle and the 5,500 kcal/kg NAR coal price $88.47/t during April-June compared with $126.74/t and $93.85/t respectively for January-March. Whitehaven's full-year results will be published on 22 August. By Tom Major Whitehaven results Apr-Jun '24 Jan-Mar '24 Apr-Jun '23 Volumes (mn t) Managed coal production 8.3 3.9 3.8 Managed coal sales 7.3 3.8 3.9 Managed coal stocks 2.7 1.0 1.5 Coal sales revenue mix (%) Metallurgical coal 59 13 5 Thermal coal 41 87 95 Prices achieved ($/t) NSW average 137 136 177 Queensland average 180 Source: Whitehaven Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Philippine senator urges action to cut coal use


18/07/24
News
18/07/24

Philippine senator urges action to cut coal use

Singapore, 18 July (Argus) — The Philippines needs to reduce its reliance on coal-fired power generation by enhancing the use of renewables, according to the chairman of the Senate committee on energy Win Gatchalian. Gatchalian called for firm energy transition measures, emphasising the importance of a proper plan for wider use of renewable energy and lower electricity prices. He believes an energy transition plan would help accelerate the use of renewable energy sources and reduce energy prices and vulnerability to global events. The average generation cost of coal-fired power by utility Manila Electric was 7.40 pesos/kWh ($0.13/kWh), while the cost for solar power generation is 44pc lower at Ps4.18/kWh, Gatchalian said. Gatchalian had earlier proposed legislation in the Senate, the Energy Transition Act, which plans to phase out fossil fuel plants and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Philippines has surpassed Indonesia and China on coal-fired power generation reliance with a 61.9pc share in its 2023 generation, Gatchalian said, citing energy think-tank Ember.Its coal-fired generation was 16.7TWh over January-March this year, up by 8.4pc from 15.4TWh a year earlier, according to data from National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. The Philippines' thermal coal imports reached an all-time monthly high in May as heatwaves spurred power demand and coal consumption at utilities. By Nadhir Mokhtar Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

BHP cuts 2024-25 met coal target with divestment


17/07/24
News
17/07/24

BHP cuts 2024-25 met coal target with divestment

Shanghai, 17 July (Argus) — Australian resources firm BHP has set a lower coking coal production target for the 2024-2025 financial year that started on 1 July, after its divestment of the Blackwater and Daunia mines. But the miner has also set its sights on increasing output from its remaining assets. The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), which is 50pc owned by BHP and 50pc owned by Mitsubishi, has set lower production targets of 33mn-38mn t for 2024-25. The targets are reflective of the sale of its Blackwater and Daunia mines to Australian producer Whitehaven Coal that was completed on 2 April, and the impact of elevated strip ratios. The two mines together contributed 10mn t on a 100pc basis to the 2023-24 production before their divestment, the company said on 17 July. BMA met its production guidance of 43mn-45mn t by producing 44.6mn t of coal in the 2023-24 financial year to 30 June. Production fell by 22pc from a year earlier, because of an extended longwall move and geotechnical issues at Broadmeadow in the first half of the fiscal year, the disruption at its 10mn t/yr Saraji mine in Queensland , as well as increased waste removal and stockpile rebuilding after the disruption caused by wet weather and labour shortages in 2023. BHP received an average price of $271.26/t for hard coking coal and $206.84/t for weak coking coal in January-June, compared to an average of $276.22/t and $250.38/t in January-June 2023. It defines hard coking coal as those with a coke strength after reaction (CSR) of 35 and above and weak coking coal as those with a CSR of below 35. BHP expects to be in the lower half of its cost guidance for the 2024 fiscal year. Expectations of lower production volumes led BHP to increase its cost guidance for the 2024 fiscal year to $119-125/t in April from $110-116/t in January and from $95-105/t in June 2023. The firm is expecting production to increase to 43mn-45mn t/yr in the next five years, once stockpile rebuilding reaches a sustainable level and strip ratios normalise. Argus last assessed the premium hard low-volatile metallurgical coal price at $236/t fob Australia on 16 July, down from $326.70/t on 2 January. BHP metallurgical coal sales mn t Coal type Apr-Jun '24 Jan-Mar '24 Apr-Jun '23 FY 2023-24 FY 2022-23 % Coking coal 4.86 5.41 7.45 19.52 24.31 -20 Weak coking coal 0.04 0.93 1.06 2.25 3.1 -27 Thermal coal - 0.02 0.36 0.52 1.16 -55 Total BMA 4.9 6.36 8.88 22.29 28.57 -22 Total BMA (100%) 9.81 12.72 17.75 44.59 57.14 -22 Source: BHP Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024


15/07/24
News
15/07/24

Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024

Washington, 15 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump has selected US senator JD Vance (R-Ohio) as his vice presidential pick for his 2024 campaign, elevating a former venture capitalist and close ally to become his running mate in the election. Vance, 39, is best known for his bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy that documented his upbringing in Middletown, Ohio, and his Appalachian roots. In the run-up to the presidential elections in 2016, Vance said he was "a never Trump guy" and called Trump "reprehensible." But he has since become one of Trump's top supporters and adopted many of his policies on the economy and immigration. Vance voted against providing more military aid to Ukraine and pushed Europe to spend more on defense. Trump said he chose his running mate after "lengthy deliberation and thought," citing Vance's service in the military, his law degree and his business career, which included launching venture capital firm Narya in 2020. Vance will do "everything he can to help me MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN," Trump said today in a social media post. Like Trump, Vance has pushed to increase domestic oil and gas production and criticized government support for electric vehicles. President Joe Biden's energy policies have been "at war" with workers in states that are struggling because of the importance of low-cost energy to manufacturing, Vance said last month in an interview with Fox News. Trump made the announcement about Vance on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and just two days after surviving an assassination attempt during a campaign event in Pennsylvania. Earlier today, federal district court judge Aileen Cannon threw out a felony indictment that alleged Trump had mishandled classified government documents after leaving office. By Chris Knight Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Generic Hero Banner

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more