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Canada's Ridley Terminals coal exports fall to 2-year low in February

Coal exports from Ridley Terminals Inc. in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, totaled a two-year low of 313,756 tonnes in February, down 60.6% from 797,171 tonnes in January and the lowest since 277,250 tonnes in January 2017, according to data from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The total, which combines metallurgical and thermal coal, was down 47.6% from the year-ago month and was the lowest shipped out in the month of February in three years. However, the 1.1 million tonnes exported in the first two months of 2019 are the most since 1.3 million tonnes were exported in January and February 2014. Metallurgical coal exports from the terminal were at a four-month low of 313,756 tonnes in February, down 42.1% from January and 27.6% lower than the year-ago month.

No thermal coal was exported in February, compared with 254,843 tonnes in January and 165,186 tonnes in the year-ago month. It was the first time without any thermal exports in a month since February 2015. Year-to-date thermal exports are now 0.4% lower than the 255,813 tonnes exported in the first two months of 2018.

The terminal, the closest major North American coal export terminal to Asia, is served by Canadian National Railway Co. The largest customer is Conuma Coal Resources Ltd., a metallurgical coal producer in British Columbia.

Tyler Godwin is a reporter for S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.