Gladstone exports to go up as coal prices, confidence rise

GLADSTONE Engineering Alliance (GEA), its members and local industry are revelling in the news coal has become one of the hottest commodities for 2016.

An increase in Chinese imports has seen Australian cargo prices rally with Newcastle Coal Terminal seen as the Asian benchmark, reporting a 35% increase to a more-than-one-year high of $US70 per tonne.

Goldman Sachs, which last year reported the coal industry was in terminal decline, has announced that restrictions on domestic production by Chinese regulators have turned coal into one of the best-performing commodities this year.

GEA chief executive officer Carli Homann said the uplift in the coal industry would be felt strongly in Gladstone, with the region being home to Queensland's largest multi-commodity port and two coal-exporting terminals.

"Last year Gladstone Ports Corporation had a total throughput of 98.3million tonnes and coal exports accounted for 70.8% of this throughput," Mrs Homann said.

"So this increase in cargo prices will make a huge difference to the local economy."

Gladstone Ports Corporation cargo handling operations manager Allan Brown will be presenting at this year's GEA Major Industry Conference on Thursday, October 6.

"Allan is at the heart of the port's operations in Gladstone and he will be able to provide an update for conference delegates on the port's current operations and predictions for future work," Mrs Homann said. "Our other speakers are Queensland Resources Council manager for economic policy Amy Greene and CommSec chief economist Craig James."

The GEA Major Industry Conference will also feature presentations from Casper Energy, Metro Mining, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Gladstone Area Water Board, Shirlaws Group and Gladstone Regional Council.

Tickets for the October 6 conference can be bought from the Gladstone Engineering Alliance by logging on to its website at www.gea.asn.au.



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