South African coal
imports in progress
from Richards Bay
coal terminal
London, England — 21 May 2012 – Asia “’ led by India, China and Taiwan”’ was the main destination for most of South Africa’s 5.2Mt of coal exports during the month of April.

Reuters reports that almost all of South Africa’s thermal coal is exported from the private Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) in Kwazulu Natal, which is owned by mining majors Anglo Coal, BHP Billiton, Xstrata, Glencore, Exxaro, Total and Optimum Coal Holdings.

Much smaller tonnages are shipped from Richards Bay dry bulk terminal, Durban and Maputo in Mozambique, by traders including Vitol and Noble.

India took 1.6Mt of coal in the month, down from 1.9Mt in March. China’s imports dipped to 810,000t from 1.3Mt in the previous month, and Taiwanese imports held steady at 840,000t, compared with 800,000t in March.

The coal market globally has become oversupplied because almost all major exporters are now producing and shipping more, while demand has been limp in Europe and weaker than expected in Asia.

The Atlantic market, which is still suffering from oversupply and weak demand, took 1.2Mt, slightly down from 1.4Mt in March.

Nothing was imported into Europe’s Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp coal-importing hub in April. A month earlier, 200,000t had been imported, or slightly more than one cape-size cargo.

Source: Reuters. For more information, click here.