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Australian Iron Ore and Coal Shipments

Coal, Iron Ore

Australia exported 63.9 Mt of iron ore in February (wet basis), down by 2.1 Mt year-on-year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as shipments in February were disrupted by poor weather conditions. Nevertheless, strong cargo growth in January meant exports in the first two months of the year combined were still up by 3.8 Mt on the same period in 2016 at 130.1 Mt.


February coal exports from Australia were almost unchanged from the year-ago level at 28.5 Mt. However, this hid sharply divergent trends for coking and steam coal shipments. Coking coal exports increased by 1.2 Mt year-on-year to 13.8 Mt in February, whereas steam coal cargoes dropped by just under 1.3 Mt to 14.7 Mt, a 22-month low. Meanwhile, the disruption caused to Queensland’s coal supply by Cyclone Debbie appears to be more severe than initially reported, with key rail links likely to be interrupted for a number of weeks.