36% increase in Gladstone coal exports to Japan

Gladstone coal exports set new records

Massive growth in coal exports to JAPAN from Gladstone during May

Is coal still the preferred source of fuel to power industry and communities across the world?

If you are living and working in Japan’s major centres and industrial hubs, then consistent electricity supply is essential to go about daily tasks. The effects of the devastating Tsunami that ravaged the coastal towns and cities of Japan in 2011 are still being felt as the many nuclear power stations were damaged. These power stations were essential to the nation’s infrastructure development, industry and everyday living standards for millions of Japanese.

So it’s comes as no surprise that Queensland coal out of Gladstone heading for Japan is having a big impact on the mines in the Bowen Basin region. Some 2.42 million tonnes over the month of May 2015, a whopping 36 percent increase on April’s figures, and a two-year high, according to the Gladstone ports Corporation. Many ships are loaded from the RG Tanna Coal Terminal with many others anchored at Fairway Buoy off shore.

Japan took delivery of 9.5 million tonnes of Queensland coal from Gladstone since the beginning of 2015 and the end of May, which is an increase from 9.2 million tonnes in the same 2014 period.

Japan’s nuclear power stations closure

The closure of all of the country’s 50 nuclear power plants following the earthquake and nuclear accident in 2011 at Fukushima is regarded as one of the major factors in Japan’s increased need for coal.

India was the second-largest importer of coal from Gladstone last month at 1.27 million tonnes, an increase of 46 percent from April. Should the Adani Carmichael mine development kick of in a year or so, we will see significant coal exports from the Queensland ports skyrocket like never before.

Ships that have loaded up and bound for India have taken on 4.95 million tonnes of coal between January and the end of May; similar to last year’s total for the same period.

Meanwhile, coal exports from Gladstone to China slowed to 750,000 tonnes, a 25 percent reduction from one million tonnes in April.

A total of 4.3 million tonnes were shipped to China in the January to May period, compared to 7.4 million tonnes in the same period in 2014.

Exports to Korea and Taiwan remained steady

Exports to Korea and Taiwan remained steady at 807,785 and 249,052 tonnes respectively.

Indonesia received 121,000 tonnes of coal during May, while there were no records of Indonesian exports in April.

Total coal exports for May were 5.74 million tonnes, up slightly from 5.45 million tonnes in April. The year-to-date total is 26.9 million tonnes.

Good news for Queensland coal mining companies as the high quality thermal coal still demands strong attention from neighbouring countries. Despite coal competition from around the world, Australian coal is highly regarded as superior than that of Indonesian or Indian coal.

Although a weakening global coal price has hit the coal industry in Queensland hard, these current figures give hope that the state’s coal sector will continue to provide jobs for thousands of locals as well as FIFO workers who reply on the Bowen Basin mines for their livelihood.

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