Gladstone's expanding coal facilities may be hit by lower coal prices, according to one analyst.
Gladstone's expanding coal facilities may be hit by lower coal prices, according to one analyst.

Coal price fall may hit port



PREDICTIONS of a sharp fall in the price of one of Gladstone's major money spinners will not impact the growth of our port, according to a local industry expert.

An Access Economics report, to be released today, predicts coal along with other Australian commodities will fall as much as 18 per cent in the next two years.

Of particular relevance for Gladstone is a prediction that coking coal prices will plummet 18.6 per cent and steaming coal prices will drop 17.9 per cent.

The predictions come just three weeks after the state government unveiled expansion plans to make the Gladstone Port the biggest coal exporter in the world.

However Gladstone Economic and Industry chief executive Ken King said the predictions did not warrant any cause for panic on a local level.

Dr King said infrastructure, such as that being built at the port, was based on long-term predictions. He said the cyclic nature of commodities meant the price of coal would rise following any fall.

'Any infrastructure we're putting in at our port is based on a long-term view, not short-term,' Dr King said.

He also said that in the past 18 months the price of coking coal had more than doubled, meaning there was some room for a slight fall.

'We're coming off a major high, so a small drop won't make a huge difference,' he said.



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