Bloomberg News

Richards Bay Coal Exports Dropped 22% in May on Rail Repairs

June 06, 2011

(Updates with coal prices in third paragraph.)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Shipments from Richards Bay Coal Terminal, Africa’s largest export terminal for the fuel, fell 22 percent in May from a year earlier after railway maintenance work and a decline in coal prices.

The terminal shipped 3.57 million metric tons, compared with 4.57 million tons a year earlier and 4.81 million tons in the previous month, according to Bloomberg calculations based on statistics e-mailed by RBCT today. Stocks rose to 4.41 million tons at the end of May from 3.63 million tons in April.

State-owned Transnet Ltd. is carrying out maintenance on its Richards Bay railroad line, the main feed to the terminal on South Africa’s east coast, from May 23 to June 11.

Terminal owners including Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton Ltd. and Xstrata Plc saw coal prices decline 1.6 percent to average $121.29 a ton in May from $123.25 in April, according to data by Hampshire-based IHS McCloskey on Bloomberg.

RBCT received 4.41 million tons in May, when 560 trains delivered coal. The terminal shipped 63.4 million tons in 2010, when it finished an expansion of capacity to 91 million tons.

--Editors: Tony Barrett, John Viljoen

To contact the reporter on this story: Carli Lourens in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alastair Reed at

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