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Aurizon 3Q15 coal and iron ore volumes down

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World Coal,

Coal shipments by Australian rail company, Aurizon, were 52.6 million t in Q315 – level with the previous quarter but 3% down on 3Q14, reflecting the challenging macro environment, the company said in its quarterly report.

Queensland coal volumes fell 5% in the quarter compared to the same period last year to 41.7 million t from 43.9 million t. However, it was the highest quarterly volume recorded so far this year after volumes of 39.1 million t in 1Q15 and 41.6 million t in 2Q15.

Queensland volumes were hit by weaker shipments from Peabody Energy’s Goonyella, as well as the expiry of the 2 million tpa contact with Anglo American’s German Creek mine.

Weaker Queensland volumes were partially offset by a rise in New South Wales volumes, which were up 6% y/y to 10.9 million t from 10.3 million t in 2014, on the back of a new long-term contract with Whitehaven Coal that started in March 2015. However, they were down on the 11 million t recorded in 2Q15.

Iron ore volumes were also down, falling 7% to 6.3 million t compared to 6.8 million t last year as two contracts stopped (August and October). This was partially offset by strong railings from existing customers and incremental volumes for Karara in Western Australia. The company also added an additional service for independent iron ore producer, Mount Gibson.

Elsewhere, Aurizon also welcomed the bi-partisan support for the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“This will deliver the next level of economic development between the two countries – a platform for more trade and more opportunity for Australian business,” Aurizon Managing Director and CEO, Lance Hockridge, said. “The benefits will be multi-dimensional, benefitting not only traditional exports, such as resources, but also the high-growth areas, such as agribusiness, professional services, tourism and education.

Aurizon is Australia’s largest rail freight business, transporting more than 250 million tpa of Australian commodities. It also operates on the of the world’s largest coal railways, connecting 50 mines with three ports in Queensland.

Edited .

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