Queensland’s coal industry has revealed an underperforming June quarter as the sector continues to suffer the lingering effects of the spate of natural disasters earlier in the year.


The results call into doubt the Reserve Bank of Australia’s estimates that the coal sector will return to full productivity by the end of 2012 as up to 35 million tonnes of stoking and thermal coal will miss delivery deadlines to steel and power stations.


The delays in delivery of stoking and thermal coal, Australia’s second and third most lucrative export commodity respectively, are expected to cost mining companies up to $4 billion in lost earnings.  The Queensland Resources Council have estimated that up to 40 million metallurgical and thermal coal failed to be delivered to end users in Asia in the 2010-11 financial year.


The drag on exports is expected to cost the Queensland economy valuable earnings in royalties, fearing that the economy might not return to the expected 5 per cent GDP in the 2011-12 financial year.


Although coal output is up to 14.7 million tonnes, its highest point since the January floods, it is still well below the June 2010.


Revised economic growth by Citi Group show an expected return to full economic growth well into 2012.