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Vessel queue at South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal falls: cFlow

London — Fifteen ships were queuing at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal in SouthAfrica Wednesday, down slightly from 17 two weeks earlier, according to cFlow,S&P Global Platts trade flow software.

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The reduction of the queue is understood to be caused by an easing ofsupply tightness which had been in place for the last few months, althoughsources said the current situation was not having much direct impact onprices.

"Nothing seems seriously delayed" a sell side source said.

Stocks at the terminal were heard to be around 4 million-4.3 million mt,having been below the 4 million mt level for most of May.

The recovering stocks at the terminal did not appear to take any pressureoff the benchmark grade price or the subsequent lower heating value prices.

The benchmark 6,000 kcal/kg NAR grade of South African coal traded onWednesday morning at $107/mt FOB, July-loading basis, $2.50 above the lastJuly deal two weeks earlier.

Platts FOB Richards Bay 5,500 kcal/kg NAR price was $89/mt Tuesday, up45 cents since the beginning of the month, having peaked at $89.60/mt on June5; the highest since Platts began the assessment in June 2013.

An additional seven ships were stationed at loading terminals or berths,with the 181,412 dwt Frontier Brilliance having entered on Saturday.

Nine ships were returning from India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka, one fromSingapore, one from the Middle East, and four from other ports in Africa.

Sources said the infrastructure at the terminal as well as the railingsto Richards Bay were experiencing no issues, while wind and swells had notbeen preventing any activity either.

--Joseph Clarke, joseph.clarke@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com