Australian coal producers can collectively negotiate with Port of NewcastleChristian Fernsby ▼ | April 3, 2020
The ACCC has granted interim authorisation 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.
Glencore Coal Ten coal producers export coal through the Port of Newcastle
Topics: Australia coal Port of Newcastle
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 authorisation 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 authorisation 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.
“PNO is also free to decide whether or not to negotiate with the coal producers collectively.” ■