Decreasing coal price dents Mozambique’s resource revenue

Mozambique’s revenue from mineral resources has dropped 28.7% year-on-year in the first half (H1) of 2023, mostly because of the “dramatic collapse in the price of coal on the world market”, reports Agência de Informação de Moçambique (AIM).

Last year’s fiscal profit from mining was 4.8 billion meticais (MT) – $75 096 385 at the current exchange rate.

For the same period this year, profits have plunged to 3.4 billion MT ($53 193 272).

AIM reports that the drop in the price of coal “forced the Indian multinational Vulcan, which is mining coal in Moatize district, in the central Mozambican province of Tete, to revise its contracts with suppliers of goods and services.”

The loss of revenue, mainly from decreased output at Moatize, is also expected to further delay plans for a new deepwater port at Macuse and connecting north-west to south-east landside linkages.

Once one of Mozambique’s prime revenue drivers, plans for coal from Moatize to be exported via Macuse north of the existing river port of Qualimane have been on the cards since at least 2016.

But setbacks, mainly through lack of funding and regular cyclones in the Mozambican Channel, have scuppered the infrastructural rollout of logistical improvements and upgrades thus far.

“According to figures in the Balance of the Economic and Social Plan and State Budget unveiled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance for the first half of 2023, the coal price fell from $374 per tonne in H1 of 2022 to an average price of $175 per tonne in H1 of 2023,” AIM reports.

“However, the total revenue from mega-projects grew considerably, totalling 16.5 billion MT, compared to 11.8 billion MT in the first half of 2022. The figure represents a growth of 40.4%.”

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