Present and Projected Australian Coal Supply Capacity: Impacts of Global Recession and Expansion in Coal Exports to China

Koichi Koizumi, Hisaki Yokogoshi
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Australias coal exports in 2008 totaled 252 million tons, accounting for 26.9% of global coal trade (in terms of exports) at 938 million tons. Although Indonesia has expanded its coal exports over recent years and reported exports in 2008 at 203 million tons, Australia has remained unshaken as the worlds largest coal exporter. Coal demand in Japan and European industrial countries has plunged on the global financial/economic crisis since the autumn of 2008. Their coal imports have thus declined. But China has expanded coal demand on the strength of high economic growth and increased coal imports more rapidly than earlier due to high domestic coal prices. Australias coal exports have maintained an upward trend even amid the global recession. In response to growing coal demand, new coalfield development and other projects are planned to expand production in Australia. This report considers the past results and future projections of Australias coal production and exports and its future coal supply capacity including estimated output under new coalmine development projects. It also covers the realities of a sharp increase in Australias coal exports to China in 2009.