Exports From Africa's Biggest Coal Terminal Declined Last Year

(Bloomberg) -- Coal exports from South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal fell about 4 percent to 73.5 million tons in 2018, missing an internal goal of 77 million tons.

Asia was the top destination, accounting for 82 percent of exports, Chief Executive Officer Alan Waller told reporters Thursday. RBCT is targeting 77 million tons again in 2019.

Exports From Africa's Biggest Coal Terminal Declined Last Year

RBCT has the capacity to ship 91 million tons annually. Coal prices for Richards Bay last year rose above $100 per ton for the first time since 2012.

The terminal handles coal from mines owned by companies including Glencore Plc, Anglo American Plc and South32 Ltd. South Africa is the seventh-biggest producer of the fuel globally, according to a 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

Operations were slowed or halted at times by extreme weather but that didn’t have an impact on total exports for the year, Waller said.

State-owned port and rail company Transnet SOC Ltd. in December had to declare force majeure on the export line running to Richards Bay after a train was derailed and the track was found to be cut with a blow torch in an incident suspected to be sabotage.

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