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Coal exports out of the Port of Vancouver rose to 2.47 million mt in September, up 7% from 2.3 million mt in August, but 29.5% lower than the 3.49 million mt shipped out in the year-ago month, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority data showed

The port, which includes Westshore Terminals and Neptune Bulk Terminals, shipped out 1.81 million mt of metallurgical coal in September, up 13.5% from the previous month, but 13.4% lower year on year.

Thermal coal exports dropped to 619,268 mt, down 11.7% from August and 55.8% lower than the year-ago month.

The remaining 31,802 mt exported in September was unspecified coal, compared with 5,144 mt in August and 372 mt in the year-ago month.

Metallurgical exports made up 73.6% of total coal exports, while thermal shipments made up just 25.1%, compared with 59.9% and 40.1%, respectively, a year ago. It was the second-highest share for metallurgical exports in 2020, only below 73.8% in March.

Coal exports through September dropped 13.9% from a year ago at 23.35 million mt. Metallurgical exports are at 15.57 million mt, down 17% from the first nine months of 2019, while thermal shipments are down 6.1% year on year at 7.58 million mt.

Westshore, which is the largest coal export terminal on the west coast of North America, takes coal from British Columbia and Alberta, as well as the Powder River Basin and Montana through Seattle as a port and rail transfer point. The Neptune terminal, which handles met coal, went through expansions and was shut down for five months through September.

In 2019, the Port of Vancouver shipped out 36.91 million mt of coal, down 1.8% from the prior year. Met coal shipments rose 2.9% on the year to 25.35 million mt in 2019, while thermal exports declined 11.6% to 11.2 million mt. More than half of the 2019 exports were shipped to Japan and South Korea, as 11.39 million mt went to South Korea and 9.14 million mt to Japan.