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Canada's Ridley Terminals March coal exports jump to five-year high

Highlights

March coal exports at 982,516 mt, highest since December 2013

Met coal exports climb to 18-month high

Houston — Coal exports from the Ridley Terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, reached a five-year high of 982,516 mt in March, up threefold from a two-year low of 313,756 mt in February and the most since 1 million mt was shipped out in December 2013, according to data from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

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The total, which combines metallurgical and thermal coal, was up 49.7% from the year-ago month and was the most shipped out in a month of March in six years.

The 2.09 million mt exported in the first three months of the year was up 22.4% on the year and was the most for the first quarter since 2.78 million mt was exported in 2013. It was also the second-highest quarterly exports in the last six years, only behind 2.12 million mt exported in Q2 2018.

Met coal exports from the terminal was at an 18-month high of 639,484 mt in March, up 104% from February and the most since 668,592 mt in September 2017.

For the first three months of 2019, met exports were at 1.5 million mt, up 8.7% from a year ago and the most since 2.11 million mt was exported in the first quarter of 2013.

Thermal coal exports were at 343,032 mt in March, compared with zero exports in February and 77,416 mt in the year-ago month. It was the second-highest monthly thermal exports in the last 34 months, only behind 411,415 mt in July 2018.

Quarterly thermal exports were at 597,875 mt, up 79.4% from the first three months of 2018 and the most since 672,489 mt in the first quarter of 2013.

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

-- Tyler Godwin, tyler.godwin@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Pankti Mehta, newsdesk@spglobal.com