Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) - the world's leading coal export terminal - saw a 5.6% year-on-year decline in tonnage shipped to 4.2m tons in January.
A further 786‚910 tons were booked under the 2012 allocation‚ even though they were shipped in January as the ships had berthed before midnight on December 31.
Last year RBCT shipped a total of 68.3m tons of coal from its terminal‚ a 4.3% increase on 2011.
RBCT currently has a capacity to export 91m tons a year and in October this year, it will decide to whether expand that to 110m tons in as part of a new expansion plan.
Coal exports from RBCT in October last year reached a record of 7‚381‚461 tons or an annualised 88.6m tons.
State-owned freight and logistics group Transnet is aiming to play a role in increasing coal exports by investing in more rolling stock to transport coal to the ports in South Africa and Mozambique.
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