Sydney (AFP) Jan 14, 2011
Australia's massive Gladstone port terminal will resume exports on Saturday after operations were halted for two weeks by the devastating floods in Queensland, port authorities said Friday.
Gladstone Ports Corporation, which runs the fourth largest coal export terminal in the world, said one of the two rail lines servicing the facility 525 kilometres (326 miles) north of Brisbane had been reopened.
"This will enable the port to recommence shiploading on Saturday," corporation chief executive Leo Zussino said.
He said eight ships were anchored off the port ready for exports.
Zussino said work was continuing to restore the second rail line and Queensland Rail was confident it would reopen on January 21.
Gladstone normally exports 1.3 million tonnes of coal a week from Queensland's mines, which supply half the world's coking coal used for steel manufacture.
Analysts have warned the flood disaster is likely to push up the price of coal, with knock-on effects for steel manufacturing and industries with steel-intensive facilities such the oil refining and petrochemical industries.
Coking coal from Queensland was last week quoted at 253 US dollars a tonne, up from less than 200 US six months ago.
Flooding in Queensland in 2008 saw the state's coking coal price peak at 305 US dollars and analysts expect the disruption to supply caused by the latest disaster will be be significantly greater.
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Australian floods may send coal prices soaring
New York (AFP) Jan 5, 2011
Epic floods sweeping Australia could seriously limit the world's coal supplies, driving up prices and raising inflationary pressures throughout the global economy. The huge northeastern state of Queensland, now largely under water, provides half the world's needs for coking coal used in the steel-making industry. "It could take several weeks to reopen mines which have been physically flo ... read more
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