New research highlights strong future for NSW coal exports

September 11, 2019

A report by independent research company Commodity Insights has found that the current power generation policies of governments in the Asia Pacific region will drive an increase in demand for thermal coal imports of 495 million tonnes across the region by 2040, presenting significant growth opportunities for NSW coal exports, the NSW economy, and regional mining communities.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said that NSW needs to seize this opportunity for increased jobs and investment or we will miss out to other coal mining jurisdictions.

“NSW is a coal mining state, with some of the highest quality coal in the world. Coal is our state’s biggest export earner, delivering jobs and investment to mining communities, and this report shows there’s plenty of opportunity for this to continue and grow out to 2040 and beyond.”

The report analyses current electricity generation policies of our key export market nations and forecasts their related demand for thermal coal imports will grow by around 2.3 percent per annum to 2040 - a growth of 495 million tonnes.  

Commodity Insights forecasts Indian thermal coal imports will increase to 287 million tonnes by 2040, an increase of 126 million tonnes on current levels.  Thermal coal imports to Vietnam are expected to increase by 135 million tonnes to 158 million tonnes by 2040, while the Philippines is expected to import an additional 66 million tonnes over the same period. To put these opportunities in context, NSW coal export volumes have been at or near record levels for the last five years, with thermal coal exports of around 140 million tonnes per annum.

The report also finds that to maintain our current market share, NSW will need to lift its exports of thermal coal by 75 million tonnes to 210 million tonnes by 2040 or risk losing market share to other competing mining jurisdictions.

A loss of NSW market share would also contribute to higher global emissions, as it would mean greater use of lower quality coal from other jurisdictions for electricity generation.

“Countries across Asia are not going to just switch off their coal-fired power stations if they can’t get the coal they need for them from NSW. Instead, they will get the coal they need from elsewhere, and it will be lower quality coal with higher emissions.”

“This strong demand means we can grow our coal exports, support more jobs and investment here in NSW, while also reducing global emissions by ensuring our high-quality NSW coal is used for electricity generation instead of lower-quality coal from elsewhere.” 


Contact: Hugo Robinson | | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419


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