EXPORT HEIGHTS: Queensland coal exports have set a new state record. Photo Mara Pattison-Sowden / The Observer
EXPORT HEIGHTS: Queensland coal exports have set a new state record. Photo Mara Pattison-Sowden / The Observer Mara Pattison-Sowden

Queensland coal exports soar to new state record

QUEENSLAND coal exports have set a new state record with 21.43 million tonnes of metallurgical and thermal coal exported last month.

Locally, Hay Point Coal Terminal exported 4.8 million tonnes, while Dalrymple Bay exported 6.9 million tonnes.

An 11 per cent increase in coal exports on the same month last year underscored the growing demand from world markets for Queensland's coal, the Queensland Resources Council said.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the state's resources sector had continued to bolster the economy and regional jobs.

"Queensland's coal is the commodity of choice with our high quality thermal coal needed to power high efficient, low emissions coal-fired power plants in Asia and our metallurgical coal used to make steel is building the bridges and skyscrapers in modern cities,” Mr Macfarlane said.

"The 215,00 men and women working across Queensland's coal industry can be proud of this achievement and it means more jobs and more revenue for Queensland.

"Last financial year Queensland's resources sector paid a record $5.2 billion in royalty taxes with coal contributing $4 billion ($12 million a day) to the government to help build new schools, hospitals and roads.”

But he said stable and reliable regulation in the resources sector was needed in order to attract new investment to the sector.

"People want industry and government to work together with communities and wider society to promote effective, constructive, and mutually beneficial relationships,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The data from Queensland's major ports found the majority were operating above average monthly volumes, with the Port of Gladstone recording a five million tonne increase in coal exports resulting from improved efficiencies and growing demand from overseas customers.

Queensland's overseas goods exports have now outstripped those from NSW and Victoria combined to hit a 12-monthly record of $85.8 billion to May 2019 - a 16 per cent surge on the same time last year.

The resources sector provided 81 per cent of those export earnings.

Australia's resources earnings also hit $275 billion in the 2018-19 financial year, which is expected to surge to $285 billion in 2019-20.