Colombia boosts coal exports in July

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Colombia, Latin America's largest coal producer, increased export revenue from the fuel in July, while nickel, iron and steel fell, according to the government.

Total exports jumped 37.6% to US$3.07bn in July compared with US$2.23bn a year earlier, the country's statistics institute (DANE) said in a report. Oil and gas, which posted US$941mn, accounted for about a third of the total.

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Coal exports from companies including Cerrejón, Drummond and Glencore unit Prodeco doubled to US$659mn from US$319mn a year earlier due to higher demand from Brazil and Mexico, the agency said.

Ferronickel exports dropped by more than half to US$5.9mn from US$13.9mn a year earlier as shipments plunged 62.5% to 2,030t, according to the agency. Colombia's nickel industry is controlled by Cerro Matoso, owned by BHP Billiton spin-off South32.

Iron and steel exports fell 16.5% to US$16.3mn in July from US$19.5mn a year earlier due to an 18.6% drop in shipments to 8,483t, the agency said. Non-metallic minerals sales gained 64.5% to US$37.3mn from US$22.7mn.

Manufactured metals exports rose 32.6% to US$23.5mn, while non-ferrous metals exports jumped 79.6% to US$5.1mn and scrap metal doubled to US$27.3mn, it said.

The United States accounted for 25.7% of Colombia's total exports in July, followed by Panama (9.1%), China (4.6%), Turkey (4.6%), and Brazil (4.5%), according to the agency.

Gold

Gold exports, which are tracked on a cumulative basis, jumped 84% to US$1.120bn through July from US$522.3mn a year earlier, the agency said. Vancouver-based Red Eagle Mining began production at its US$55mn San Ramón gold mine in November.

Companies including AngloGold Ashanti, Eco Oro Minerals and Continental Gold have also lined up gold, silver and copper mining projects in Colombia.