* ARA coal for April down $0.45 at $74.75/tonne
* Drummond should resume exports this week-traders
LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - European physical coal prices declined further on Wednesday as traders expected Colombian coal exports from miner Drummond to resume this week after its port was shut in January.
Cargoes for delivery in April to the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) were trading at $74.75 per tonne by 1401 GMT, down $0.45 from Tuesday’s settlement.
Colombia’s second-biggest coal miner Drummond stopped exports in January as a new law banned the use of cranes and barges to load boats, due to the pollution caused.
Drummond has been upgrading its port to meet the environmental legislation, but in the meantime, Colombia’s exports have been reduced by a third since January.
A few weeks ago, the Colombian government said it expected exports to resume from around March 24.
A coal trader told Reuters on Wednesday that he expected exports to resume this week, or “by March 31”.
“An 80,000 tonnes vessel will be the first to load coal at the port. Capesize vessels are expected to start loading in mid-April,” he added.
A mild winter has already left Europe’s coal stocks relatively high, and a warm start to spring has lessened demand, so any further increase in supply will suppress prices.
South African coal cargoes for delivery in April from the Richards Bay terminal fell by $0.40 to $73.10 a tonne, while the May contract slipped by $0.45 to $71.75 a tonne. (Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Sophie Hares)