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Saturday, March 17, 2012

SA bulk export volumes dropped by 21.2pct MoM in February

Saturday, 17 Mar 2012

Transnet National Ports Authority data showed on March 13th 2012 that SA's bulk export volumes dropped by 21.2% MoM in February 2012 from January 2012 as mostly iron ore exports out of Saldanha slumped by 48.6% MoM to 2,571,174 tonnes.

Although 2012 is a leap year, there were still only 29 days in February 2012 compared with 31 days in January 2012, so ports had 6.5% less time to load goods. That is why the YoY comparison makes more sense, but weather can also disrupt port operations such as the recent Cyclone Irina.

The YoY change in February 2012 was a 9.4% drop to 10.651 million tonnes after January's 28.1% YoY surge to 13.513 tonnes. The high YoY growth rate is in part due to poor weather in January 2011 that disrupted port operations.

Bulk exports rose by 6.6% in 2011 to a record 141.493 tonnes after a 9.0% jump in 2010. The YoY increase in the first two months of 2012 was 8.3%.

The slower growth last year was in part due to weather related disruptions as well as cable theft on the Mpumalanga Richards Bay coal line, which has resulted in derailments and other disruptions to traffic.

The coal line was closed for 20 days in May and June 2011 to do necessary maintenance and in October exports out of Richards Bay exceeded 8 million tonnes or an annualized 96 million tonnes, but this eased to 7.3 million tonnes in November 2011 before rising to 7.5 million tonnes in December 2011 and 7.7 million tonnes or an annualized 92 million tonnes in January 2012. In February 2012 Richards Bay shipped 7 million tonnes and shipments for the first two months are up 22.8% YoY.

In 2011, shipments out of Richards Bay, which are mostly coal, disappointed with a 1.4% rise to 76 million tonnes in 2011, while mostly iron ore shipments out of Saldanha Bay increased by 12.3% to 53.3 Mt. In January 2012 the y/y increases were 34.4% and 25.0% respectively, indicating that demand for these commodities remains very strong despite the global growth concerns.

The star performer last year was agricultural and manganese exports out of the other South African ports, such as Durban and Port Elizabeth, which jumped by 18.7% to 12.2 million tonnes, but in January 2012 there was a small 1.8% YoY decline to 0.8 million tonnes, while February 2012 saw a larger 8.5% YoY decline.

The majority of bulk exports go to Asia as China, India and Japan require South African coal and iron ore to feed their steel mills and thermal coal power stations.

As nuclear power stations in Japan have reduced their output after the March 2011 earthquake, Japan requires more coal to burn in their thermal power stations.

Source - Net Bridge

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thermal power maintenance market expands

Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012

The Saudi Gazette reported that rising electricity demand and new installations in Asia Pacific and Middle East markets stimulate thermal power maintenance market to 2020.

GBI Research, a leading business intelligence provider, said in its study that the global maintenance services market generated revenue of USD 15,552.5 million in 2011, 2.3% growth from the 2008 revenue of USD 14,623.1 million.

The coal fired power plant segment contributed the majority share of 62% to the total thermal power maintenance market with revenue from this segment amounting to USD 9,666.8 million in 2011. The gas fired power plants segment contributed a share of 32% in 2011 with revenue contribution of USD 5,017.3 million.

The oil plants segment contributed the remaining share of 6 percent with a total revenue contribution of USD 868.1 million in 2011. The maintenance services market is largely driven by electricity demand and the aging power infrastructure leading to increased demand for maintenance services.

Source - Saudi Gazette

China iron ore imports in Feb up by 34pct YoY

Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012

China Knowledge quoted according to the latest statistics released by the General Administration of Customs said China, the world largest iron ore importer and steel maker saw its iron ore import surged 33.6%YoY to 64.98 million tonnes in February this year.

The iron ore imports last month reflected a 9.5% increase from the previous month. In the first two months of this year, the country iron imports rose 5.7%YoY to 124.26 million tonnes.

The average import price of iron ore dropped 12.9%YoY to USD 136.4 per tonne in two-month period.

According to figures from the China Iron and Steel Association the 80 large and medium sized steel enterprises in China suffered a loss of CNY 2.32 billion in January this year whereas they made profit of CNY 7.91 billion in the same month of last year.

Sourced - China Knowledge

South African Coal prices fall to lowest level in three months

Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012

Bloomberg reported that coal export prices at South Africa Richards Bay, the continent biggest terminal for shipping the fuel fell to their lowest level in three months.

According to IHS McCloskey data on Bloomberg prices declined 50 cents or 0.5% to USD 103.85 per tonne in the week ended March 9, the least since December 16.

The price is quoted on a free-on-board basis, which excludes delivery costs.

Source - Bloomberg

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mozambique issues coal prospecting licenses

Monday, 12 Mar 2012

Bloomberg citing Mr Eduardo Alexandre National Mines Director as saying that Vale SA and Rio Tinto Plc are among the recipients of 20 coal prospecting licences issued by Mozambique for the Maniamba basin in northwestern Niassa province.

Mr Alexandre said the Maniamba basin covers 4,000 square kilometers and studies carried out so far have covered 870 square kilometres. He said that the government is working on a coal transportation system connecting the province.

Source - Bloomberg

Coking coal in US spot market falls

Monday, 12 Mar 2012

Bloomberg quoted Energy Publishing as saying that metallurgical coal prices on the US spot market fell last week because of slack demand.

According to Energy Publishing low volatility coal decreased USD 3.87 or 1.9% to USD 201.13 a ton and high volatility coal dropped USD 1.75 or 0.9% to USD 187.50.

The data provider wrote in a weekly report that “Price sentiment hasn’t collapsed on the buy or on the sell side, though it has gotten more bearish.”

Energy Publishing says it surveys buyers and sellers of coal to determine pricing.

Source - Bloomberg

Ethiopia to Partner with Progress Gulf to import coal

Monday, 12 Mar 2012

It is reported that Ethiopia petroleum enterprise is negotiating with delegates of Progress Gulf to import 25,000 tons of anthracite coal for use in smaller cement factories with vertical furnaces.

The shipment is expected to cost an estimated USD 4.2 million to supply a portion of the 360,000 tons of coal which is the projected annual demand for the small cement plants in the country.

The procedure to procure the coal was conducted by the Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise, under mandate from the Ministry of Trade, which invited 6 companies to make offers in a closed tender. Progress Gulf won the tender making an offer of 168.4 dollars per ton of anthracite coal according to sources at EPE.

Smaller factories expected to make use of the anthracite coal due to their vertical kilns that make the use of steam coal unfeasible include Abyssinia, CH Clinker, Enchini Medrock, Jemma and Huang Shan.

Source - 2merkato