Latest market news

Queensland coal shipments at decade low in 2022

  • Market: Coal, Coking coal
  • 16/01/23

Shipments from the four key Queensland coal ports increased in December on drier weather but 2022 was still the weakest coal export year from the east Australia state since 2012.

The ports of Hay Point, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT), Abbot Point and Gladstone shipped 17.12mn t in December, up from 16.35mn t in November and from 15.51mn t in December last year, according to port data. The ports shipped 190.94mn t in 2022, down from 197.28mn t in 2021 and from the peak of 219.24mn t in 2019.

December was drier than average, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), but the northern end of the Bowen basin and the associated ports of Abbot Point, Hay Point and DBCT experienced up to 800mm of rain in the first two weeks of January. These ports have longer than average ship queues, with 37 vessels waiting off the adjacent ports of Hay Point and DBCT, along with 11 off Abbot Point. There is a more average queue of 23 vessels at Gladstone, which sits outside the region that has experienced the heavy rain.

The BoM forecasts drier conditions for the coal-producing regions of Queensland during February-March, as the La Nina weather pattern, which drives the increased rainfall, eases. Drier weather, combined with an easing skills shortage and above average metallurgical and thermal coal prices, could drive a rebound in Queensland coal exports in 2023, particularly if the safety issues that disrupted production over the past four years are rectified.

Exports could also be increased by the return of the 4.8mn t/yr New Acland coal mine, which exports through the smaller port of Brisbane. The closure of New Acland cut Brisbane's coal exports to 1.92mn t in 2022 from 3.49mn t in 2021 and 6.36mn t in 2019.

Hay Point, which is operated by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, and the multi-user DBCT had the strongest end to 2022, while Gladstone's exports were down the most compared with December 2021 and for the full year against 2021.

Abbot Point had a weak end to the year, with December shipments falling to 2.45mn t from 3.11mn t in November. Exports for the year were up by 1.3mn t on 2021 to 30.56mn t, including the contribution from the 10mn t/yr Carmichael coal mine that began shipping in January 2022.

Argus last assessed high-grade 6,000 kcal/kg NAR thermal coal at $390.15/t fob Newcastle on 13 January, down from $410.17/t on 9 December and from a peak of $444.59/t fob on 9 September. It assessed the premium hard low-volatile metallurgical coal price at $308.20/t fob Australia on 13 January, up from $253.30/t on 9 December but down from $320.80/t on 4 November.

Queensland coal shipments(mn t)
Hay PointAbbot PointDBCTGladstoneTotal
Dec '224.032.455.425.2217.12
Nov '223.363.114.575.3116.35
Dec '213.412.263.925.9115.51
202246.2730.5652.1062.01190.94
202144.8129.2854.2168.98197.28
202046.4629.8554.5870.52201.41
201949.8430.1166.7472.55219.24

Queensland coal exports (mn t)

Australian coal price comparisons ($/t)

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
17/07/24

BHP cuts 2024-25 met coal target with divestment

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.

Find out more
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.

News

Cliffs to buy Canadian steelmaker Stelco


15/07/24
News
15/07/24

Cliffs to buy Canadian steelmaker Stelco

Houston, 15 July (Argus) — US integrated steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs will acquire Canadian integrated steelmaker Stelco in a cash and stock deal. The acquisition of Stelco, an independent steelmaker in Hamilton, Ontario, was announced by both companies this morning. Stelco shareholders will receive C$60/share ($44/share) of Stelco common stock and 0.454 shares of Cliffs common stock, or $C10/share of Stelco common stock. The transaction is valued at C$3.4bn ($2.5bn) and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to a news release. Stelco will maintain its headquarters in Hamilton, and capital investments of at least C$60mn will be made over the next three years. Stelco will aim to increase production from current levels and will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary. In its news release, Cliffs said the purchase of Stelco will double Cliffs' exposure to the flat-rolled spot market, adding that Stelco's primary customer base is service centers buying hot-rolled coil (HRC) products. Stelco shipped 636,000 short tons (st) of steel products in the first quarter, of which 74pc was HRC, according to a quarterly report. Cliffs already operates seven tooling and stamping plants in Canada and a scrap yard run by its Ferrous Processing and Trading Company (FPT), all located in Ontario, according to the company. The head of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, David McCall, is said to support the transaction. Cliffs' move to buy Stelco comes nearly a year after Cliffs began its failed bid to purchase steelmaking competitor US Steel. Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel is now in the midst of negotiating the $15bn purchase of US Steel, a deal that has been the subject of public political hand wringing and open dispute among the executives of Cleveland-Cliffs, US Steel, Nippon Steel and the USW. By Rye Druzin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

India, SE Asia demand lift Indonesian May coal exports


15/07/24
News
15/07/24

India, SE Asia demand lift Indonesian May coal exports

Singapore, 15 July (Argus) — Indonesian coal exports rose in May from a year earlier, led by higher demand from India and southeast Asia. The country exported 46.27mn t of coal in May, up by 6.6pc from a year earlier and by 3.9pc from April , customs data show. The data include all types of coal, such as thermal and coking coal. Indonesia exported about 222mn t of coal in January-May, up from 212mn t a year earlier. The country could export 532.59mn t this year if the current production run rate of 44.37mn t/month is maintained over the next seven months, according to Argus calculations based on customs data. Indonesia exported 521.10mn t last year. The year-on-year increase in May exports was supported mainly by higher demand from India, the world's second-largest coal importer, as utilities lifted their import purchases to replenish stocks for the summer season. Shipments to India in May rose by about 19pc on the year to 10.1mn t, according to the data, although exports slipped from 11.34mn t in April. The steady growth in Indian coal-fired generation, which hit an all-time high in May, continued to support demand for imported coal. The country's overall coal-fired generation, which meets most of the country's power requirements, rose to 119.53TWh, from 106.03TWh a year earlier, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority. Coal-fired generation in May was also higher than 116.5TWh in April, supported by increased power consumption caused by higher air-conditioning usage during the summer heatwaves. Indonesian exports also rose to cater for greater demand from southeast Asia. Exports to the region in May rose by 15.5pc on the year and by 1.5pc from April to 11.19mn t. This was led by a steady rise in exports to Vietnam, where shipments grew by 47pc on the year and by about 17pc on the month to 3.34mn t in May. Demand was led by utilities as coal-fired generation reached a probable record high of 17.08TWh in May, as per Argus calculations based on data from state-owned utility EVN. Vietnamese coal imports reached 6.50mn t in May , up from 4.97mn t a year earlier and from 5.90mn t in April, provisional customs data show. Shipments to China, the world's largest coal importer, accounted for nearly 40pc of Indonesian exports at 18.44mn t, down from 18.82mn t a year earlier but up from 15.57mn t in April. The year-on-year decline was caused by Chinese utilities being less aggressive this year in purchasing seaborne cargoes because of subdued thermal power generation. China's thermal power generation, which mainly uses coal, fell to 454TWh in May from 471TWh a year earlier and 459TWh in April, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics. China's imports of thermal coal — including non-coking bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal and lignite — totalled 32.7mn t, down from 31.4mn t a year earlier and from 32.9mn t in April, Chinese customs data show. Output rises A rise in Indonesian coal production supported higher exports in January-May. Output during the period rose to 334mn t, from 314mn t a year earlier, according to data from the country's energy ministry, ESDM. But output in June may have eased on the year to 54mn t, taking the year-to-date tally to about 388mn t, up by 2.1pc from a year earlier. The data will probably be revised, as output is frequently reviewed in Indonesia because of a lag in some producers' reporting. Indonesian output could face pressure from heavy rains in parts of the key coal-producing Kalimantan region, while production cutbacks could also affect overall production. Some coal producers could trim output in response to ongoing low prices in the international market. Argus on 12 July assessed Indonesian GAR 4,200 kcal/kg coal at $52.07/t fob Kalimantan, the lowest level since mid-September 2023. The price is down sharply from the 2023 peak of $90.41/t in January last year. Lower output could dent the export trajectory. Coal exports in June were estimated at 39.82mn t, according to data from trade analytics firm Kpler. Exports in June last year stood at 39.02mn t, according to customs data, and at 38.72mn t, per Kpler's estimates. By Saurabh Chaturvedi Indonesian coal exports mn t Indonesia coal exports by destination, Jan-May mn t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Japan’s Shikoku to shut Ikata reactor for maintenance


12/07/24
News
12/07/24

Japan’s Shikoku to shut Ikata reactor for maintenance

Osaka, 12 July (Argus) — Japanese utility Shikoku Electric Power is planning to shut down the 890MW Ikata No.3 nuclear reactor on 19 July, to carry out regular maintenance works. The absence of Shikoku's sole reactor could prompt the utility to boost thermal power generation at coal-, gas- and oil-fired units to meet expected rises in electricity consumption for cooling purposes during the peak summer demand season. The Ikata No.3 reactor is set to close for a three-month turnaround, after around 13 months of continuous operations. Shikoku plans to start test generation in the final phase of the maintenance on 30 September and complete the entire turnaround process on 25 October. The potential fall in nuclear output could theoretically increase LNG demand by 170,270t over August-September, assuming an average gas-fired generation efficiency of 50pc. Shikoku operates four thermal power plants, including the 1,385MW Sakaide gas- and oil-fired plant, 750MW Saijo coal-fired plant, 700MW Tachibanawn coal-fired plant and 450MW Anan oil-fed plant. Thermal capacity accounts for around 60pc of the utility's power portfolio. By Motoko Hasegawa 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