[Ferro-Alloys.com] Coal exports are expected to be lower because of weaker global demand for coal, Australia's central bank said in its quarterly economic statement. "By contrast, iron ore exports are expected to remain strong."
The benchmark iron ore price has remained elevated since the previous RBA statement in August, briefly reaching its highest level since 2014 in early September. The iron ore price has been supported by continued strength in Chinese steel production, underpinned by public infrastructure and real estate construction.
Port congestion in China has also supported prices, although this has eased more recently. Supplies of iron ore from Brazil have increased following various disruptions earlier in the year, which has dampened the upwards pressure on prices, the RBA said.
Australia's iron ore exports rose in September from a year earlier and were 3.9pc up for January-September.
The RBA maintained its view of firm investment in new iron ore producing capacity and associated infrastructure from its August statement.
Coking coal prices are not far from their lows for the year. But thermal coal prices have rebounded of late, underpinned by gradually rising global demand and earlier supply cutbacks from producers, the RBA said.
Coking and thermal coal prices have also been supported by analysts' concerns that predicted increased rainfall over Australia, as a result of the La Nina weather pattern, will disrupt supplies in the coming months, the RBA said. Heavy flooding during Australia's last significant La Nina period led to a 20pc fall in Queensland's coal production in the January-March quarter of 2011.
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