Australian Coal Ports to Resume Loading as Second Storm Brews

Coal export ports on Australia’s eastern coast are resuming ship loading operations after tropical cyclone Dylan weakened and moved inland, and as a second storm brews offshore Queensland.

Abbot Point in the state’s north started loading yesterday and the first fully laden ship has left the port, Francis de Rosa, a Sydney-based spokesman for Glencore Xstrata Plc, the operator of the terminal, said by e-mail today. Dalrymple Bay may resume shipping on Feb. 4 after the regional harbor master surveys berths and the channel, Greg Smith, operations general manager, said yesterday.

Dylan crossed the Queensland coast on Jan. 31, dumping heavy rain on sugar crops as it weakened. A second storm is moving northwards offshore and may develop into a cyclone next week, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. Producers including Glencore, BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) export coal from the ports, which were shut last week amid gale force winds and rough seas.

Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of coal used to make steel. Abbot Point shipped 21.4 million tons last year, while Dalrymple Bay to the south moved 65.2 million tons, according to data from North Queensland Bulk Ports.

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