New Figures: Coal is still Queensland’s economic powerhouse

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Queensland’s coal exports have continued to grow, with the sector posting another month of strong gains as demand remains high.

The latest figures from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office show that coal exports were worth $34.3 billion annually to the state through to September.

Coal has seen the largest monthly value increase of any non-confidential export industry in Queensland since December 2016 and rose to $2.06 billion in the past year.

With the latest thermal coal spot price US$100 per tonne and coking coal trading at $US$225 per tonne, the Queensland Government is on track to receive a hefty royalty payment from the coal industry. The Government budgeted on total royalties from minerals and LNG to reach $4.32 billion with $3.76 billion forecast to come from coal royalties.

In comments to The Courier Mail, Queensland Resources Council Cheif Executive Ian Macfarlane said it’s due that “22 months back-to-back in which the coal industry has taken gold for all Queenslanders … and that’s money in the bank for the State Government and for the people of Queensland.”

“The consistent returns from the Queensland resources industry fund schools, roads and hospitals, and are particularly important at a time when rural exports have hit a rough patch.”

Coal prices are expected to increase further after an underground fire at Peabody’s Goonyella mine causing it to cease production until at least 2019.

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