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QR National sees further fall in coal haulage

QR National says the impact of floods in Queensland and Cyclone Yasi has continued to hit the supply of coal hauled in its Queensland operations.

QR National said in a statement that it expects to lose a further 10m tonnes of haulage for the July 2010-June 2011 Financial Year as a number of its customers confirmed a slower than expected full recovery of coal supplies.

The freight operator warned in February that it expected a 25 million tonne reduction in coal haulage for the financial year 2011, owing to the floods and Cyclone Yasi.

While coal tonnages hauled in March and April were broadly in line with the company’s earlier expectations, QR National said that it had hauled approximately 1m&nbsp tonnes a week below earlier expectations.

With some of its coal customers recently saying that the impact of volumes would carry forward for some tonnages in 2012, QR National said the rate of improvement moving into the 2012 FY was uncertain.

“There may be opportunities for catch up, depending on the circumstances of individual customers,” QR National said in the statement.

“The company continues to work on a broad range of transformation initiatives, which will partly offset the financial impact of the coal haulage reduction. As and when coal supplies return, the company is well positioned with its capacity for an expected lift in volumes.”