BHP has increased its thermal coal output by 3pc from the previous year, reaching 14.2mn t during the 2022-23 fiscal year. This growth was supported by a 21pc quarter-on-quarter increase in April-June due to a shift from higher to lower grade coal sales, drier weather, and rising truck productivity. However, total coal sales fell to 13.86mn t in 2022-23 from 14.12mn t a year earlier, as BHP restocked its inventories following a drawdown in early 2022 due to weather-disrupted mining activities.
BHP's domestic coal sales were at 200,000t over April-June, above its domestic coal allocation under the New South Wales thermal coal reservation policy. This coal was sold at 100pc of the current price cap of A$125/t ($80.31/t), which was slightly lower than its average coal cost.
BHP's average cost rose by 16pc to $82.37/t during the 2022-23 fiscal year, within its New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) cost guidance for 2022-23 to $84-91/t. The average exported coal price was $236.51/t during 2022-23, up from $216.78/t during 2021-22.
BHP has set an output guidance of 13mn-15mn t for thermal coal production for the 2023-24 fiscal year, as drier weather and the El Nino weather trend are likely to support coal production.