MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Glencore will have some “short-term” delays in its coking coal shipments after a train derailment on freight operators Aurizon Holdings train system in Queensland, Australia, on Sunday, the miner and trader said on Thursday.
The Pacific National coal service derailment has disrupted coking coal shipments from Queensland’s Bowen basin, which could add further heat to prices that have nearly doubled since the start of August.
“The train derailment will lead to some short-term delays in getting coal from our Newlands mine to port. However, these short-term delays will not impact our ability to supply our customers’ requirements,” a Glencore spokesman said in a statement on Thursday.
Aurizon said in a statement that there was major infrastructure damage as a result of the derailment, which occurred 120 km south of the Abbot Point export terminal. However, the company expects services to resumed on Sept. 19.
BHP is among the coal miners operating in the Bowen region.
A BHP spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the miner’s operations had been affected, but said any impact would be reported in its next quarterly review.
Prices for coking coal, used primarily to heat iron ore during steel making, have more than doubled since the end of May, partly on large curtailments of China’s supply after a reduction in its working week that has also fueled its appetite for imports.
“The market is extremely tight at the moment so any lost tonnes at all are having an outsize impact on pricing,” said head of resources research Andrew Driscoll at CLSA in Hong Kong.
The spot price of Australian premium hard coking coal has surged from $83.40 a tonne on May 31 to $196 on Sept. 14, making it the best performer among significant commodities.
Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger