Queensland coal exports reached record high in 2014

Queensland coal exports reached record high in 2014

Abbot Point coal terminal, near Bowen, Queensland.

Coal exports from the Australian state of Queensland reached a record high last year with close to 216 million tonnes shipped, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said on Tuesday.

The Port of Gladstone, said QRC, was the one it exported the most with 69.9 million tonnes, followed by Dalrymple Bay at 67.5 mt, Hay Point with 40.8 mt, Abbot Point at 22.9mt and Brisbane rounding it out at 8 million tonnes.

Unlike in the rest of Australia, the coal industry has remained a key contributor to state coffers, QRC chief executive Michael Roche said.

“What we are seeing are Queensland coal producers replacing the high prices of a few years ago with the volumes necessary to keep their operations viable in a currently depressed market,” he said.

Roche added that in an effort to maintain output, Australian coal produces have focused their constant and ongoing attention on higher efficiency and cost reductions, which have been aided on the revenue side to some extent by a lower Australian dollar.

In 2013-14, Queensland coal producers spent $19 billion state-wide on wages, goods and services and voluntary community contributions, which is calculated to have generated a further $20.8 billion in economic activity and employment for an additional 208,000 Queenslanders.