NSW coal exports and jobs remain strong during challenges of 2021
Latest data confirms the NSW coal sector emerged strongly from 2021 despite the challenges of COVID-19 and changes in export markets, with another positive year for export volumes and jobs.
Global demand for NSW coal remained strong in 2021 with coal exports at near-record levels with emerging trade partners India and Thailand significantly increasing their import of NSW coal.
Data released by Coal Services Pty Ltd reveals that 164 million tonnes of coal was exported from NSW in 2021, just one percent lower than the 2020 result and almost 30 per cent higher than a decade ago.
The strong growth in demand for NSW coal was led by India, almost doubling its import of coal from 8.9 million tonnes in 2020 to 16 million tonnes in 2021. This was followed by Korea, which increased imports of NSW coal by 25 per cent to 26.8 million tonnes. Coal exports to our largest international market, Japan, were up eight per cent to over 71 million tonnes.
NSW coal export volumes to Thailand almost doubled, increasing from 3.7 million tonnes in 2020, to 6.7 million tonnes in 2021. Exports to both the Philippines and Malaysia remained steady
No coal was exported to China.
In addition, Coal Services data confirms the number of coal mining jobs in NSW also increased slightly during 2021, from 20,936 in December 2020 to 21,298 coal in December 2021.
Welcoming the positive economic news, NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said, “coal is our State’s most valuable export so it’s great for the NSW economy that demand for our high-quality resources remains strong. The stability of our export market is particularly encouraging, considering the challenges of Covid-19 and changes in export markets, including China.”
“With strong coal export volumes, more coal mining jobs, and record coal mining royalties flowing to the NSW Government it is more important than ever to ensure a sensible and balanced approach is taken to policies impacting the sector.”
“To meet the strong global demand for our high-quality coal and deliver an increase in jobs during the pandemic is a testament to the resilience of the world-class coal mining industry in NSW.
With the right policy settings the NSW coal mining sector is well placed to make a big contribution to the economic recovery of NSW,” Mr Galilee said.