Latest data confirms that 2018 was another positive year for NSW coal exports with global demand for NSW coal increasing on the previous year at near record levels.
Data released by Coal Services Pty Ltd reveals that 164.6 million tonnes of coal was exported from NSW in 2018, an increase of 838,000 tonnes on the previous year and over 23 per cent higher than in 2012.
Exports of thermal coal – used for generating electricity – were up by 1.6 million tonnes, an increase of 1.2 percent on the previous year.
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 rise in thermal coal exports is particularly encouraging, as many countries in our region lock in reliable and affordable electricity with new coal-fired power plants providing low-emissions coal fired power.”
The increase in demand for NSW coal was led by India, importing 6.2 million tonnes, a substantial increase of almost 37 percent on the previous year. This was followed by China who increased imports of NSW coal by 18.3 percent to 28.9 million tonnes.
Demand for NSW energy coal increased across other Asian markets, reflecting the deployment of more coal-fired power generation capacity across the region, including new High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) power plants. NSW coal export volumes to Vietnam more than doubled, increasing to 1.8 million tonnes. Exports to both the Philippines and Malaysia remained steady.
Coal exports to Japan, Korea and Taiwan were steady or fell slightly. Japan continues to take the largest share of NSW thermal coal, accounting for 44% of NSW thermal coal exports in 2018, followed by China with 18%, Taiwan with 13% and Korea with 12%.
“Growth in coal exports to China and India along with significant growth across emerging markets in Southeast Asia demonstrate the significant economic opportunities for our State, provided we get the policy settings right here in NSW,” Mr Galilee said.
Coal continues to be NSW’s single most valuable export, contributing around 18% of all exports leaving the State by value.