by Udo Rypstra

Transnet coal shipments down as demand decreases

Abundant availability of cheaper coal from other countries have weighed on prices

Transnet coal shipments on the decrease

Sluggish spot demand in India and China, two big buyers of South African coal, and abundant availability of cheaper coal from other countries have weighed on prices, pushing them to levels last seen in late 2009.

This is according to Reuters which says logistics group Transnet may only move around 68 million tons of coal for export this financial year despite an expanded rail capacity as producers limit exports due to low prices, the head of its freight rail unit said on Wednesday.

As also reported by Mining Prospectus and sister publication Road Ahead, Transnet has been investing heavily to upgrade its ageing infrastructure and push more coal through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal before it gets shipped off to coal-hungry markets in Europe and Asia.

"We would like to do 73 million to 75 million tons, but market conditions dictate what will ultimately happen," Siyabonga Gama told Reuters on the sidelines of the company's results release.

"We've got capacity to move about 76 million to 78 million tons, but just based on the first half, we will probably end at around 68 million tons," Gama added.

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