GPC annual exports down 1Mt due to 'challenging conditions'
COAL exports out of Gladstone Port in the past 12 months were one million tonnes lower than the previous year and the lowest since 2013.
The 2017-18 financial year results showed Gladstone Ports Corporation's three port precincts - Gladstone, Rockhampton and Bundaberg - handled 120.2 million tonnes of product.
While exports were one million tonnes shy of last year's, the company said its performance remained strong in challenging conditions.
Chairman Leo Zussino said the Port of Gladstone recorded a throughput of 119.3Mt, led by coal, liquefied natural gas and alumina-related exports.
Coal exports since January have been below 5MT, dropping to its lowest of 4.5MT in April. The past two months' exports of the commodity have increased to 6.3 and 6.2Mt respectively.
"67.1Mt of coal exports were facilitated by the Port of Gladstone, with rail disruptions impacting supply to the port earlier this year," Mr Zussino said.
Coal exports were impacted across the state by Aurizon cutting back its maintenance schedule on the CQ coal network following a draft ruling from the Queensland Competition Authority.
In May, GPC told The Observer it was exploring ways to mitigate the impact on its coal exports. Meanwhile the financial results showed strong figures for liquefied natural gas exports from Gladstone, and an increase to trade at Rockhampton.
"Curtis Island exports also continued to grow, with 20.3Mt of LNG transported to Asia," Mr O'Sullivan said.
The biggest LNG customer was China, taking 13,459,006 million tonnes.
The Port of Bundaberg handled 565,635 tonnes of product throughout the year.
"Increased silica sand and wood pellet exports have set the foundation for future growth at the port," he said.
Ammonium nitrate was the major driver of trade at the Port of Rockhampton, with 255,254 tonnes of product recorded during 2017/18.