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Coal exports reach record-breaking numbers in Australia

Air quality at Cannon Hill in Brisbane will be monitored

The resources sector remains the heavy lifter in the economy with coal exports reaching a record-breaking 219.4 million tonnes for the 2014/15 financial year, up 5 per cent on the 2013/14 record level.

QRC analysis of port export data for the 2014/15 financial year shows that three ports broke coal export records, being Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal with exports of 71.6 million tonnes, Hay Point Coal Terminal (43.4 million tonnes) and Abbot Point (28.7 million tonnes).

Gladstone Port at 68.5 million tonnes was just short of last year’s record. Preliminary advice from Port of Brisbane is that they shipped 7.2 million tonnes of coal in 2014/15.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said the results show that coal continued to deliver for the Queensland economy and was also delivering for the state budget through royalties.

“Any shortfall in royalty revenue in next week’s State budget is not down to lack of export volumes, but rather due to the optimistic price forecasts in the December 2014 mid-year budget review published by the previous government,” Mr Roche said.

“Industry is doing the heavy lifting on production activity – but we are all subject to the vagaries of global commodity price setting.”

Mr Roche said in the mid-year review, Treasury forecast the 2015-16 hard coking coal price at $140/tonne and thermal at $80/tonne, whereas current spot prices sit at around $90 and $60 respectively (at time of publishing).

“Treasury also forecast that the Aussie/US dollar rate would trade at 84 cents in 2015-16, so the current exchange rate of below 75 cents will provide some buffer to royalty revenues,” Mr Roche said.

Mr Roche said other parts of the Queensland resources sector would also play their part in 2015-16 in delivering revenues to fund essential government services for Queenslanders.

“Queenslanders will benefit from the beginning of the ramp up in gas exports and therefore gas royalties while non-coal minerals will also deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties again in 2015-16,” Mr Roche said.

“Our sector continues to provide one in every five jobs and one in every four dollars to the Queensland economy while supporting more than 17,000 businesses across the state.

“The latest record coal export figures are also an inconvenient outcome for the anti-coal activists who are constantly bleating about the end of coal.”

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