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ACCC Lets Coal Producers Collectively Negotiate With Port Of Newcastle

 |  April 2, 2020

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted interim authorization to the NSW Minerals Council and 10 coal producers to collectively negotiate with Port of Newcastle Operations (PNO) on terms and conditions of access to the port for coal exports, including prices.

The 10 coal producers that export coal through the Port of Newcastle are Glencore Coal, Yancoal Australia, Peabody Energy Australia, Bloomfield Collieries, Centennial Coal, Malabar Coal, Whitehaven Coal, Hunter Valley Energy Coal, Idemitsu Australia, and MACH Energy Australia.

The interim authorisation does not allow the producers to enter into collectively negotiated agreements with PNO, or allow them to share individual coal projection volumes, customer pricing information, or marketing strategies.

PNO is currently negotiating with individual coal producers over a proposed 10 year deed for access to the port. The ACCC considers that allowing coal producers to collectively negotiate will give producers an opportunity to reduce ongoing uncertainty and achieve more timely outcomes.

“We have granted this interim authorization because coal vessels will soon be facing higher port service charges if coal producers don’t execute a deed with the Port of Newcastle,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.

“Because participation is voluntary we do not believe this authorization will impact competition between the producers. Individual coal producers are still free to negotiate separately if they believe they can get a better deal,” Mr Ridgeway said.

Full Content: ACCC

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