NSW Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said Newcastle would cement its crown as the world’s biggest coal export port because of the ongoing steady demand for thermal coal while Hay Point’s chief export of coking coal is affected by the decline in global steel production.
“Eighty per cent of coal exported from Newcastle is thermal coal while Hay Point mostly exports coking coal,” Tripodi said.
“Demand for thermal coal which is used for electricity generation is holding up much better than coking coal, so Newcastle’s domination over Queensland’s terminals is set to continue.”
Last year, Hay Point – inclusive of Hay Point Coal Services and the neighbouring Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal – exported 83.9Mt of coal compared to 91Mt through Newcastle, according to the minister’s department.
Tripodi said coal exports through Newcastle hit 47.05Mt for the six months from July last year, including a record monthly total of 8.55Mt in December.
In a case of interstate rivalry, the minister cited Newcastle Port Corporation estimates that Queensland’s Hay Point will export 84-87Mt in the current financial year while Newcastle should remain steady at 91Mt.
He also referenced Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics forecasts of a 7% increase in thermal coal exports this year and of a substantial fall in coking coal prices.
Newcastle steel and iron exports from July to December hit 226,867 tonnes, up 50.73% from the corresponding period the year before.