Richards Bay, South Africa — MININGFREVIEW.COM — 14 June 2010 – Richards Bay “’ the world’s second-biggest coal export harbour “’ boosted sales to India by 12% in May, according to a Web-based trader backed by India’s biggest steel producer.
Exports of the fuel rose to 1.93 million metric tonnes last month from 1.72 million tonnes in April, said a note from Mjunction Services Limited. The coal shipped was mostly thermal, used in power plants to generate electricity.
The terminal exported 4.57 million tonnes of coal in May, up from April’s 3.91 million tonnes and 22% more than a year earlier, even as deliveries were cut by an 18-day national port and rail strike that ended on May 28. At the shipment rate so far this year, the terminal will export 57.72 million tonnes of the fuel in 2010, about 64% of its capacity.
Buyers from India accounted for about 42% of the terminal’s exports in May, according to the note. India’s imports of power-plant coal may grow 14% a year as demand for electricity increases, according to Tata Power Limited.
Pakistan’s coal imports fell by about 69% to 40 233 tonnes in May from April, MJunction said. The South Asian nation imported 2.97 million tonnes in the first five months from the Richards Bay terminal.
India imported 8.33 million tonnes in the first five months of this year from Richards Bay, 18.7% higher than the year-earlier period, according to the note. Richards Bay shipped about 35% of its total coal to India this year until May.
The country, Asia’s largest economy after Japan and China, expanded its industrial output by 17.6% in April, boosting its consumption of electricity as factories stepped up production. The nation’s thermal coal imports may climb to 72 million metric tonnes in 2011, according to Tata Power.
Prices for coal shipped through Richards Bay fell 0.4% to an average of US$92.41 a tonne on a free-on-board basis in the four days through June 4, according to IHS McCloskey. Asian benchmark prices at the port of Newcastle in Australia rose 1.2% to US$99.30 through June 11.