Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Export Slump amid China Ban
Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australia’s largest coal port Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal says the Chinese government’s ban on Australian coal has triggered a realignment of global trade flows that is sending more of the commodity from local shores to Europe and elsewhere in Asia. Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure chief executive Mr Anthony Timbrell said coal volumes shipped from its Hay Point terminal in Queensland had dropped to 55 million tonnes in 2020, down from 67 million tonnes, as it reported a maiden net loss of AUD 113 million. But Mr Timbrell said “He is expecting to see an uplift in demand for metallurgical coal as more governments reopened their economies and launched steel intensive stimulus programs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 downturn. Our traditional customers in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and India have still been shipping significant volumes. There is underlying demand strength in the steel industry.”
He added “As Beijing’s bans on Australian coal continue this year, leaving dozens of loaded coal vessels stranded off the coast and unable to dock, trade flows were readjusting. As a result of the apparent ban of Australia coal exports to China, which has caused a bit of a re-casting of coal flows globally, we’ve been seeing more coal going into Europe than what we would ordinarily expect.”
Australia’s coal producers have been hit hard since COVID-19 restrictions slashed demand for the commodity and worsening diplomatic ties between Canberra and Beijing led to China unofficially black listing Australian coal imports. The federal government is forecasting the nation’s exports of metallurgical coal will fall by around 8 million tonnes to 169 million tonnes this year due to lower demand, while thermal coal fall from 213 million tonnes to 199 million tonnes.
DBCT is based at the Port of Hay Point on Central Queensland Coast. The terminal operates around the clock, exporting thermal and metallurgical coal from Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin mines to ports around the world. The terminal is a common user facility, owned by the Queensland State Government and leased to Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure on a 50-year lease, with a 49 year option, to operate, maintain and develop the terminal. DBI has engaged DBCT P/L to operate and maintain the terminal on its behalf. Dalrymple Bay, which services mainly metallurgical coal producers in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, has take-or-pay contracts with customers under which the company gets paid even in the event that less coal is delivered than expected.