South Africa's premium coal terminal, Richards Bay (RBCT) has attained new highs for coal exports during the CY18.
South African coal exports, as a whole, have remained largely flat over the CY18, weighted down by minimal investment in new mines. Moreover, the severe shortage faced by Eskom, could result in the adoption of long-term contracts and more coal being diverted to the domestic market, in turn, curbing the exports from the country in the near term.
However, the RBCT port facility was positive of emulating record exports in CY18, after investing a sum of 1.34 Billion Rand (USD 98 Million) during Jun'18, on machinery upgrade. The sum was invested in order to boost productivity and turnaround times.
According to the vessel line-up data compiled by CoalMint research, coal shipments exported from RBCT has increased 0.6% Y-o-Y to 78.4 MnT in CY18 against 77.9 MnT in CY17, continuing the uptrend for the second straight year.
Notably, the terminal had attained 8-MnT coal exports in a single month, for the first time over the two-year period during Dec'18.
RBCT's coal export in Dec'18 was 8.04 MnT, up 18% M-o-M from 6.84 MnT in Nov'18.
Major Coal Receivers in CY18:
India remained the largest coal receiver in CY18, followed by Pakistan and South Korea. Notably, all three had also seen their share of coal increasing during the year.
Indian coal import from RBCT increased 5% Y-o-Y to 35.69 MnT in CY18, compared with 33.90 MnT in CY17. The country had seen subdued demand for South African coal after monsoon, where imports had been lower since Jun'18.
However the country had ended the year on a high by posting a 22% M-o-M rise in import to attain 3.38 MnT coal in Dec'18, which eventually was the second highest monthly total for CY18.
Pakistan's coal import rose 16% on the year to 9.16 MnT in CY18 compared with 7.89 MnT in CY17. Import by South Korea increased 13% Y-o-Y to 6.19 MnT in CY18.
Taiwan overtook Netherlands to become the fourth largest coal receiver from RBCT.
Taiwan's imports had increased slightly on the year to 2.97 MnT in CY18 against 2.96 MnT in CY17. While Netherlands import decreased 10% Y-o-Y to 2.96 MnT in CY18, which was the only decline noted among the top 9 major coal receivers in CY18.