Newcastle Coal Exports Jump 20 Percent; Ship Queue Lengthens

Kalimantan Coal

By Jesse Riseborough
June 3 (Bloomberg) — Coal exports from Australia’s Newcastle, the world’s biggest export harbor for the fuel, jumped 20 percent last week while the number of ships waiting outside the port increased.
The volume shipped in the week ended 7 a.m. local time June 1 rose to 1.9 million metric tons from 1.59 million tons a week earlier, Newcastle Port Corp. said today on its Web site. A total of 40 ships, waiting to load 3 million tons of coal, were lined up outside the port, up from 35 ships last week.
Coal ships waited 9.7 days to load coal, down from 9.8 days a week earlier, Newcastle Port said. The waiting time compared with 1.1 days for general cargo vessels last week, it said.
Twenty-two vessels carrying coal left Newcastle in the week ended May 30, Newcastle Port said yesterday in an e-mailed report. Twelve ships were bound for Japan, six were bound for China, and one each for the Netherlands, Korea, Mexico and Taiwan.
The weekly price index for power-station coal shipped from Newcastle last week rose 3.5 percent to $67.09 a ton, the highest since the week ended Feb. 20, according to the globalCOAL NEWC index.
Rio Tinto Group, Xstrata Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd. are among mining companies that ship coal through Newcastle.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Riseborough in Melbourne at Last Updated: June 2, 2009 20:08 EDT

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