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Inland Transport of Export Coal

AUTHOR: Darrell Porter
DATE: August 1993

The price of transporting coal from the mine to the port accounts for a significant part of the price of internationally traded coal. This study analyses the structure of the inland transport market in the main coal exporting countries. The six coal exporting countries examined are Australia, the United States, South Africa, Canada, Indonesia and Colombia. Between them they account for about 80% of internationally traded coal.

For each country, the characteristics of the various parts of the export coal chain (including mines, railways, barge and export terminals) are described, along with government policy and the main issues affecting the inland transport market for export coal. From an analysis of these factors the prospects in the export market to 2000 are assessed.

It is concluded that there will be pressure to increase the nominal price of inland transport services in some countries - this will partly depend on the level of profitability of coal exporters. However, other factors will tend to offset these pressures, and the price of inland transport from the mine to the port is expected to fall in real terms in all the major coal exporting countries.