Richards Bay, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 April 2010 – Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) “’ the continent’s largest coal export facility “’ shipped 17% more coal in March this year than in the same month of 2009.
In an e-mailed statement released today, RBCT confirmed that shipments had risen from 4.8 Mt in March 2009 to 5.66 Mt last month “’ but gave no reasons. Stock at the terminal at month-end was 3.35Mt, compared with 2.98Mt in February.
The terminal is the biggest source for Europe of coal burned for power, and is owned by a combination of South African exporters of the fuel, including BHP Billiton Limited, Anglo American plc and Xstrata plc.
Prices for coal shipped through the port increased 32%during the past year to an average of $83.8 /t on April 2, according to data from England-based researcher McCloskey Group Limited.
At last month’s shipment rate, the Richards Bay terminal would ship 62.5Mt of coal this year, compared with its capacity of 91Mt after the completion of an expansion later in the year. Shipments came to 61.14Mt last year.
During March, 5.93Mt of coal arrived at the port by rail, compared with 5.19Mt a year earlier. Sixty-three ships docked at the port and 811 trains arrived laden with coal during the month.