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David Gibson and Santa (L-R) Amelia, Mackenzie , Abby and Cassie mine Patty and Santa Rivah and AJ Conway-James Aboutusgenericimage_3 Aboutusgeneric_1 Peewee Gonzales Vin Hamilton Indigo and Kate Wallace (L-R) Lauren-Jade, Lucy and Marc Atkinson Jemma and Mila Smith fifo Construction dragline
David Gibson and Santa (L-R) Amelia, Mackenzie , Abby and Cassie mine Patty and Santa Rivah and AJ Conway-James Aboutusgenericimage_3 Aboutusgeneric_1 Peewee Gonzales Vin Hamilton Indigo and Kate Wallace (L-R) Lauren-Jade, Lucy and Marc Atkinson Jemma and Mila Smith fifo

Get out of jail free card improbable
LATEST weather forecast unlikely to improve coal prices.
Wednesday 03 December 2014  

THE Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is forecasting a drier and hotter than usual summer this year across the Bowen and Surat Basins in its latest three month outlook report.

According to the BOM, the chances of above median rain across Central Queensland is between 25 and 35 per cent.

Typically the area would receive between 200 and 300 millimetres (mm) over December, January and February, but this year the BOM is saying it is more likely to be between 100 and 200 mm due to the impacts of El Nino.

According to the BOM, forecasts for Central Queensland over the summer have been fairly accurate in the past - with up to 75 per cent of predictions being consistent with the weather that has eventuated.

However, it should be noted that while the forecasts do predict lower than average rainfall, a major disruptive rain event has not been ruled out.

Major events usually come at the tail end of a tropical cyclone, and the BOM has forecast there is a 40 per cent chance Queensland will see more than four this summer season.

In some respects a highly disruptive wet season could be counted as a blessing for the coal sector, as it would allow supply to stop without the cost of take-or-pay contracts.

Companies can declare ‘force majeure’ when they can’t deliver coal for reasons beyond their control, such as the weather, and in the current downturn that could be welcome relief from the demands of take-and-pay contracts relating to rail and port facilities.

The high cost of not delivering under take-or-pay contracts has been one of the reasons why coal supply has not reduced as quickly from the Bowen Basin as it has in previous downturns.

This, in turn, has added to an already over-supplied coal market and contributed to ongoing low coal prices.


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