Europe

Geographical and economic factors also play their part, with the result that Europe receives its major imports from the United States, with Japan and the Far East relying more on sources in Australia, Western Canada, China and Eastern Russia and, to a certain extent, South Africa. When considering the demand for coking coal and iron ore, it will become obvious how the health of the tramp market depends on the success or failures of the steel industry. In theory, therefore, a recession in steel making would automatically have a knock-on effect on the demand for bulkcarrier space. But, as always, the situation is not necessarily so simple. Often at such times, it is found that a counter balance is provided by, say, an increase in demand for grain. The main ports of loading for coal in the United States are in the area known as Hampton roads, particularly the ports of Norfolk and Newport News, as well as nearby Baltimore and Philadelphia. Significant quantities also originate in the huge Mississippi River basin, being exported via New Orleans and Mobile, in the United States Gulf, also via Long Beach and Los Angeles from the United States West Coast. The traditional Australian coal exporting ports are in New South Wales, comprising Newcastle, Port Kembla and Gladstone, but during the past decade hugh deposits have been exploited in Queensland, and ports such as Hay Point and Abbots Point have been established, trading to and from these ports being facilitated by the discovery of deepwater navigation channels (e.g. Hydrographers Passage) through the Great Barrier Reef. South Africa has greatly enhanced its exportation potential by the opening of the specialised Richards Bay terminal near Durban, whilst Canada now has the Port of Robertsbank, near Vancouver. Russia exports from the Black Sea but importantly, as part of an expanding trade, via the Far Eastern port of Vostochny (near Vladivostock), handily placed to meet the demands of Japan and Korea. China is also developing its coal exports, mainly from northern Chinese ports, such as Qinghauangdao (Chinwangtao), but coal exports are set to become increasingly important from Asian nations with Indonesia gearing up its production and export facilities and coal is occasionally exported also from Vietnam.