Another record-breaking month for LNG exports
THE Port of Gladstone broke its Liquefied Natural Gas shipments record last month topping off a bumper year for the commodity.
More than 1.9 million tonnes of LNG was exported from Gladstone's port in December 2017, an increase of 200,000 tonnes compared to November.
China remained the biggest customer, followed by Japan, Korea and Malaysia.
The Gladstone Port also shipped its highest amount of coal in 12 months, more than 6.3 million tonnes.
The company expects 2017 to be another record trade year.
Last financial year Gladstone's port handled 120.4Mt, surpassing Hay Point as Queensland's largest.
"Year to date figures confirm the Port of Gladstone is on track for another record trade year, with improved coal market conditions and the LNG sector driving growth," GPC chief executive Peter O'Sullivan said.
The LNG industry is gearing up to break more records too, with Australia's chief industry economist announcing this week a "robust pace" of growth that's expected to hit the sector within the next two years.
The Port of Gladstone's record-breaking LNG exports last month underpinned a nation-wide trend of increased shipments.
The Federal Government's Office of the Chief Economist's newly released December quarter report said LNG exports increased by 21 per cent year-on-year.
It forecast LNG exports to be worth more than $36 billion, an increase from $22.3 billion in 2016.
"Increased production at Gorgon propelled LNG exports higher," the report said.
"Over the next two years, the completion of the three remaining LNG projects currently under construction - Wheatstone, Ichthys and Prelude - will also underpin resources and energy export volumes growth."
The report said investment in the gas industry was expected to continue to decline in the short term, putting more and more weight on the importance of overall mining investment.