Richards Bay, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 07 August 2009 – The Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) “’ Africa’s largest coal-export facility “’ exported 3% less of the fuel in July than in the same month a year ago.
“Exports declined to 5.44 million metric tonnes from 5.61 million tonnes,” a spokesman for the terminal said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News, without giving reasons for the fall. In June the port shipped 5.52 million tonnes.
Prices of coal exported from the port rose 3% to US$63.10 a tonne in the week ended 31 July, according to Hampshire, England-based market researcher McCloskey Group Limited.
The Richards Bay coal terminal is owned by South Africa’s largest coal exporters, including Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton Limited and Xstrata Plc. It is the biggest source of coal for European power plants.
At its current shipment rate, Richards Bay will export 59.9 million tonnes of coal this year, compared with a capacity of 76 million tonnes and shipments of 61.79 million tonnes last year.
Stockpiles declined to 3.67 million tonnes as of 31 July from 4.05 million tonnes at the end of June.
Seventy-two ships were loaded during the month and 606 trains arrived at the facility, RBCT said. It received 5.1 million tonnes of the fuel by rail.