Chinese demand fuels increase in Gladstone coal exports
GLADSTONE port recorded a 7.2% increase in coal exports in 2013, largely driven by Chinese demand, according to Gladstone Ports Corporation shipping data.
Gladstone's RG Tanna coal terminal and the smaller Barney Point exports facility loaded 61.9 million mt of coal cargo onto 637 ships in 2013, compared with 57.7 million mt loaded onto 628 ships in 2012.
A total of 136 China-bound ships loaded 15.2 million mt of coal exports at Gladstone port in 2013, and another 450,000 mt of coal cargo was put onto six ships sailing to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong.
This represented an increase of 29.7% on Gladstone's exports of 12.1 million mt to China and Hong Kong in 2012, including 600,000 mt loaded onto eight ships for Hong Kong customers.
Japan retained its ranking as the number one destination for Gladstone coal exports in 2013, with 19.6 million mt shipped to the Asian country on 196 cargo vessels, an increase of 8% on its volumes for 2012 of 18.1 million mt.
India was the destination for 11.22 million mt of Gladstone's coal exports in 2013, in line with its 2012 volume of 11.28 million mt.
South Korean coal buyers booked 8.7 million mt of coal cargo from the port, up marginally from its take of 7.9 million mt in 2012.
Taiwan's share of Gladstone's coal market declined slightly to 3.1 million mt in 2013, compared with 3.9 million mt in 2012.
Outside of these destinations, the remaining 3.5 million mt of Gladstone's 2013 coal exports went mostly to European countries.