China’s April coal offtake from Australian Port Waratah terminals surges

Port Waratah

China’s offtake from the Port Waratah coal terminals in eastern Australia touched a four-month high in April at 1.32 million mt — including 70,000 mt shipped to Hong Kong — a 43% increase on 922,000 mt in March, said Port Waratah Coal Services in its latest operating report Monday.

Coal shipments from Port Waratah’s two coal terminals at Newcastle port to China have come off a low of 580,000 mt in January, and were 1.44 million mt in December, according to port data.

For the January-April period, China has lifted 3.6 million mt of coal from the PWCS terminals, down from 5.3 million mt in the corresponding four-month period last year.

Japan maintained a steady offtake at the PWCS terminals last month at 4.44 million mt, up from 4.14 million mt in March.

Last month’s shipments to Japan bring the Asian country’s year-to-date total to 17.1 million mt, and higher than 16.57 million mt for the year-ago period.

South Korean buyers took delivery of 840,000 mt of coal exports at the PWCS terminals in April, taking their year-to-date total to 4.98 million mt, down from 5.8 million mt for January-April 2015, said port data.

Taiwan booked 1.1 million mt of coal exports from PWCS terminals for April, down slightly on 1.24 million mt in March. INDIA OFFTAKE

India was a destination for only 134,000 mt of coal exports shipped from the PWCS terminals last month, up from only 35,000 mt in March.

India’s year-to-date shipments total is 552,000 mt, compared with 175,000 mt for the January-April 2015 period, said PWCS data.

Last month, PWCS coal shipments to Mexico, Malaysia and Thailand added up to 988,000 mt, as miners seek to diversify their customer base with China’s demand pulling back.

Thermal coal accounted for 7.93 million mt of total coal exports from the PWCS terminals in April, or 86%, and semi-soft coking coal exports were 1.3 million mt or 14%, the data showed.

In April 2015, only 10% of coal exports at the PWCS terminals were semi-soft coking coal and 90% was thermal coal, indicating that coal shippers such as Rio Tinto and Whitehaven have increased their output of semi-soft coal over the past year.
Source: Platts

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