Hunter Valley thermal coal demand ‘remains strong’

August 12, 2014

Rio Tinto has told its shareholders demand for Hunter Valley thermal coal from its Asian customers remains strong, despite prices hitting a five year low. 
Coal & Allied's Hunter Valley mines were recognised in Rio Tinto's first half results, as they confirmed a significant 21 per cent increase in first half underlying earnings to $5.1 billion.

Pictured: Business as usual at Rio Tinto Coal & Allied's Hunter Valley Operations
The half-year report stated that at the end of the first half of 2014, thermal coal prices had declined to the lowest level since October 2009. Despite this, the report confirmed demand for Rio Tinto’s products from the major markets of Japan, Korea and Taiwan remained strong. 
Rio Tinto’s Australian thermal coal production increased by six per cent compared with the first half of 2013 due to productivity gains in the Hunter Valley and additional volumes from a processing plant by-product in Queensland. 
It follows a release of the latest statistics from Coal Services showing NSW coal production continues to grow, up by 5.7% over the past 12 months and exports through the Port of Newcastle are up by around 11%. 
Peabody Energy Chief Executive Greg Boyce has today told the Australian Financial review he expects global thermal coal demand to grow by 700 million tonnes over the next three years, driven mainly by China.

Pictured: Peabody Chief Executive, Greg Boyce
“From a global perspective, 80 per cent of our energy comes from fossil fuels. It’s going to be that way for the rest of our lifetimes and beyond,” Mr Boyce said.

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