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Coal ship arrivals at Australia's Newcastle port rise to 43 from 35 last week

Perth — Forty three ships are scheduled to arrive at Newcastle port in eastern Australia's three coal terminals this week, up from 35 last week, the port authority said Monday in an operating report.

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"There are 43 ships with a notified arrival time allocated and in transit," New South Wales Port Authority said in the report.

Ships receive an arrival notice when they are within seven days of reaching the port.

There were nine ships waiting off the port for a loading berth Monday and five ships being loaded with coal, the authority said.

Last week 41 ships loaded coal, up from 38 a week earlier, it added. Ships that entered Newcastle port last week waited an average of four days for a berth, and the week before waited seven days, said authority said.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China are the main destinations for Newcastle's coal exports.

Twenty eight ships arrived at the two terminals at Newcastle operated by Port Waratah Coal Services in the seven-day period ended Sunday, up from 24 the week before, according to a separate weekly report by the logistics coordinator for the Hunter Valley coal chain.

The operator of the third coal terminal, Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, does not release weekly ship arrival and loading data.

The PWCS terminals shipped 2.33 million mt of coal exports last week, up from 2.19 million mt the week before, the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator said in its report.

"August's month-to-date shiploading is currently 917,000 mt (or 167 million on an annualized basis), 68,000 mt above the declared outbound target," HVCCC said in its report.

Centennial, Glencore and Rio Tinto are among the dozen coal producers that ship via the PWCS terminals.

The shipping queue for the PWCS terminals stood at 18 Sunday, down from 26 ships a week earlier, HVCCC said.

"Based on terminal demand the queue at PWCS is estimated to be 15 [ships] at the end of August," it added.

Coal producers using the Newcastle shipping hub expect to load 9.3 million mt in August and 9 million mt in September.

Coal trains delivered 3.55 million mt of coal to Newcastle port's three coal terminals in week ended Sunday, steady from the week before, HVCCC said.

Newcastle port's railway, which serves around 35 coal mines in the Australian state of New South Wales, is due to close for three days from August 18 for maintenance, HVCCC in a separate report.

--Mike Cooper,
--Edited by Wendy Wells,