Coal markets roiled as Australia’s flood crisis worsens – by Jason Scott (Bloomberg/Moneyweb – March 23, 2021)

The deluge that’s inundating Australia’s eastern states is hampering shipments from the world’s biggest coal export terminal.

Heavy rainfall and damaging winds are expected to continue on Tuesday, including in the key coal regions of the Hunter Valley and the Port of Newcastle. That is likely to see prices of the power-station fuel extend Monday’s climb to a two-year high, as coal in Europe also gained on the news.

Overnight there were 870 rescue operations in New South Wales state, as dams overflowed and catchments flooded. A further 15 000 people may be evacuated today, after 18 000 people were forced to leave their homes on Monday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters earlier today.

The one-in-100 year flooding event forced companies from Glencore Plc to Yancoal Australia Ltd. to cut production, while Whitehaven Coal Ltd. said there is a backlog of ships at the Port of Newcastle.

“This type of temporary weather event does not typically have any lasting impact,” the Port of Newcastle said in a statement. “The port continues to operate and is monitoring conditions closely.”

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