Queue of Ships Increase…..Newcastle Coal Exports Decline 28%

Coal exports from Australia’s Newcastle, the world’s biggest export harbor for the fuel, fell 28 percent last week while the number of ships waiting outside the port increased.

The volume shipped in the week ended 7 a.m. local time yesterday fell to 1.44 million metric tons from 2.01 million tons a week earlier, Newcastle Port Corp. said today on its Web site. A total of 30 ships, waiting to load 2.9 million tons of coal, were lined up outside the port, up from last week’s 27.

The price of coal at Newcastle rose 4.5 percent to a record $158.53 a ton last week as the fuel attracted buyers after crude oil surged to a record. Exports from the port were delayed last week as strong winds and high seas restricted ship movements. Coal ships waited 13.49 days to load coal during the week, down from 13.74 days a week earlier, Newcastle Port said. The waiting time compared with 0.64 day for general cargo vessels last week, it said.

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