Chinese demand for NSW coal continues to grow

January 20, 2014

New export data shows China’s demand for NSW coal has increased significantly over the last financial year, cementing its place as the second largest market for the state’s coal exports and defying predictions from some commentators that demand for NSW coal would wane in the world’s most populous nation.

Data released by Coal Services Pty Ltd reveals that coal exported to China increased by over 30% in 2012-13, bringing the total volume of NSW coal exported to China in 2012-13 to almost 31 million tonnes.

The Chinese demand for NSW coal has had significant growth over the last five years.  In 2007-08, only 1.1% of NSW coal exports were going to China.  China now accounts for almost 20% of all NSW coal exports, second only to Japan.  

“NSW coal mining has had a tough 18 months with a high Australian dollar, a fall in the coal price and uncertainty with regard to NSW planning laws. Finally, there is some good news, with demand for NSW coal rising significantly in China, contrary to some of the rhetoric we have been hearing that demand for coal is diminishing,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“Importantly, given coal is our State’s most valuable export commodity, the data also shows that demand for NSW coal is growing steadily across all our main export markets.”

Demand for NSW coal in Japan rose by 12% in 2012-13, demand in Korea rose 19.6%, and in Taiwan, demand rose by 6.5%.

Japan accounts of 46% of NSW coal exports, now followed by China with 19.9%, Korea with 16%, Taiwan with 9.7% and the rest of Asia accounting for 6.2%.  Coal is NSW the state’s single most valuable merchandise export, accounting for 20% of all exports leaving the state.

“Steady growth in exports to our long-term markets of Japan, Korea and Taiwan combined with a strong increase in exports to the emerging market of China signal good news for the industry, provided we get the policy settings right here in NSW,” Mr Galilee said.

“Global economic factors have a big influence on the NSW economy. There’s not much that state governments can do about global economic conditions, however they can determine their own policy settings on taxation, regulation and planning. And they can decide to chase economic opportunities and maximise our natural economic advantages,” he said.

Contact: Chris Rath – crath@nswmining.com.au – 0409758734 – 02 9274 1419

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