Bloomberg News

Richards Bay Coal Terminal Exports Fell by 7.5% in September

October 05, 2011

(Updates with broker comment in third paragraph.)

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Shipments at Richards Bay Coal Terminal, Africa’s largest export facility for the fuel, fell 7.5 percent last month on weak demand from Europe and Asia.

Deliveries from the port on South Africa’s northeast coast dropped to 4.96 million metric tons in September from 5.36 million tons a year earlier, RBCT said today on its website.

“It is principally a demand issue,” Bevan Jones at London Commodity Brokers said by phone in Johannesburg. “We’re seeing a lot of cargoes available and not many buyers. Producers have to sell at a significant discount and they’re not prepared to do that.” European power stations “seem to be very well stocked” and buyers from India, the main destination for South African thermal coal, and China are “cautious,” Jones said.

Prices for coal traded through RBCT declined 1.4 percent to an average $115.77 a ton in September from a month earlier, and gained 34.9 percent from the same period in the previous year, according to IHS McCloskey data on Bloomberg.

The port, whose owners include BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc, received 6.25 million tons of coal in the month, and had stocks of 5 million tons, according to RBCT, which didn’t give a reason for the drop in September shipments.

It has capacity to export 91 million tons annually.

--Editors: Tony Barrett, Alastair Reed

To contact the reporter on this story: Jana Marais in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story John Viljoen at

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