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Canada's Westshore Terminals Q2 coal exports reach highest level in past year

Thermal and metallurgical coal exports from Westshore Terminals Investment Corp.'s facility near Vancouver, British Columbia, reached their highest level in four quarters during the second quarter of 2019, mainly due to an increase in met exports, the terminal's earnings report said.

Westshore, the largest coal export facility in North America, shipped 7.6 million tonnes in the second quarter, up 10.1% from the first quarter and down 3.8% from the second quarter of 2018.

Coal loading revenue totaled C$97 million in the second quarter, the Vancouver-headquartered Westshore reported Tuesday, up 11.7% from the previous quarter and up 6% from the year-ago quarter.

Shipments were at their highest since the third quarter of 2018, along with quarterly revenues. In addition, the average loading rate was C$12.80/tonne in the second quarter, compared with C$12.58/tonne in the first quarter and C$11.55/tonne in the year-ago quarter. The second quarter had the largest loading rate since S&P Global Platts data began in the second quarter of 2011, when the average rate was C$7.15/tonne.

In the second quarter about 5.3 million tonnes of met coal was exported from the terminal, making up 70% of total shipments, while 2.3 million tonnes of thermal coal was exported, or 30% of total shipments. From the year-ago quarter, met shipments were up 20.5% and thermal shipments were down 34.4%.

Through six months, Westshore exported 14.5 million tonnes, down 3.9% from the same period last year. Of those tonnes, 10.2 million tonnes were metallurgical coal in the first and second quarters and 4.3 million tonnes were thermal, compared with the year-ago period when the terminal shipped 8.5 million tonnes of metallurgical coal and 6.6 million tonnes of thermal.

For the year, Westshore projects total throughput volumes of 30 million tonnes, compared with 30.4 million tonnes shipped last year, at continued higher rates than last year's average of C$11.69/tonne.

Olivia Kalb is a reporter with S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts are owned by S&P Global Inc.