New figures released by NSW Minerals Council show coal is NSW’s number one export commodity at 35% of total merchandise exports.
The council’s latest industry report “NSW Mining 2012: A Snapshot” revealed telling statistics about NSW’s coal industry and the countries it exports to.
Japan remained the largest overall market for NSW coal, receiving 46.5% of coal exports in 2011-12.
China received 17.5% of NSW coal exports, Korea 15.3% and Taiwan 10.4%.
The report values the export of NSW coal in 2011-12 at $16.8 billion.
NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said the figures were encouraging despite the tough conditions faced by many coal miners in recent months.
“Many of our members in NSW have experienced difficult trading conditions due to global economic conditions, rising costs, and a fall in coal prices over the second half of last year,” Galilee said.
“It’s important to note that China’s is the world’s largest coal producer and its domestic coal production vastly eclipses imports of coal from NSW, producing 3,471 million tonnes per annum. However, the ongoing strong demand for NSW coal in China is good news for our national and state economies and also for the economic strength of NSW coal mining communities.”
“NSW is well placed to meet many of the minerals needs of major economies around the world. We have a strong history of supply to developed economies like Japan and the Republic of Korea, while at the same time we are developing excellent trading relationships with major emerging markets like China and India,” he said.
Galilee also noted the importance of the industry on jobs in the state.
“Coal mining alone provides a direct income for over 22,000 employees and their families in NSW; workers in communities like Singleton, Muswellbrook, Wollongong, Gunnedah, Tamworth, and Boggabri. It’s estimated that coal mining also generates around 77,000 additional jobs across the state.”