Newcastle Port has out-traded Queensland’s Hay Point to become the world’s largest coal exporter, according to the NSW Government.
Despite claims that New South Wales is already in a recession, the Hunter region has enjoyed record trade figures for the first half of the 2008-09 financial year across many commodities.
The strong growth figures have been led by an increase in coal exports Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said yesterday.
“A total of 49,557,567 tonnes of trade was registered by the port for July to December 2008 which was three million tonnes more than for the corresponding period the previous year,” Tripodi said.
“Coal exports were the major factor with 47.05 million tonnes being exported, including a record monthly total of 8.55 million tonnes in December.”
Tripodi said Newcastle was set to cement its crown as the world’s biggest coal export port thanks to the on-going steady demand for thermal coal.
“Eighty per cent of coal exported from Newcastle is thermal coal while Hay Point mostly exports coking coal,” Tripodi said.
“Demand for thermal coal which is used for electricity generation is holding up much better than coking coal, so Newcastle’s domination over Queensland’s terminals is set to continue.”
In 2008, Hay Point, including Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and Hay Point Coal Services, exported 83.9m tonnes of coal, compared to Newcastle’s throughput of more than 91m tonnes.
“Based on throughput over the last six months, Newcastle Port Corporation estimates Hay Point will export 84-87m tonnes in the 2008/09 financial year, while Newcastle should remain steady at around 91m tonnes,” Tripodi said.