Australian coal exports set new record in 2017

Australia’s coal export values have hit a new peak of $56.5 billion in 2017, according to the latest trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This valuation is 35 per cent higher than 2016 and beats the previous record of $46.7 billion, set in 2011, by nearly $10 billion.

The $56.5 billion is split between 200 million tonnes (Mt) of thermal coal valued at $20.8 billion, and 172Mt of coking coal valued at $35.7 billion.

According to MCA executive director, coal, Greg Evans, Southeast Asia is a particularly important emerging market for coal, where market exports accounted for roughly $2 billion in 2017.

“Southeast Asia is emerging as a significant new market for Australian coal owing to its recent investments in high efficiency, low emission coal-fired power plants significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he explained.

China, traditionally Australia’s largest coal export market, also saw record Australian coal imports for the year with a full year rise of 5 per cent to 1.075 billion tonnes. However, this growth is expected to slow in 2018 due to changing market conditions in the country.