Coal exports from Queensland in Australia increased 2% to 220 million tonnes (Mt) in 2015 in spite of tough market conditions, data released by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has revealed.
In 2014, coal exports stood at 216 million tonnes.
The Port of Gladstone exported 72Mt, Hay Point did 44.4Mt, and Abbot Point shipped 27.2Mt, while Dalrymple Bay exports remained unchanged at 69.3Mt.
QRC chief executive Michael Roche said in a statement: "With the benefit of the destination data produced by Gladstone Ports Corporation, we know that coal exports from Gladstone port to India (which accounts for about two-thirds of Queensland's total coal exports to India) actually accelerated in the second half of 2015.
"Coal exports from Gladstone port to India in the six months to December 2015 were more than 19% higher than in the same period of 2014 and nearly 24% higher than in the first six months of 2015."
With the latest rise in the state's coal exports, Queensland Treasury expects an increase in royalties from coal in 2015-16.
The commodity is expected to deliver $8.3bn in royalties over the four years of the forward estimates.
Coal industry in Queensland is responsible for 8% of all jobs in the state and supports more than 11,000 businesses.
Polling firm JWS Research undertook a research for the QRC and found that 72% of Queenslanders had a favourable or neutral view of coal mining and 23% had an unfavourable view.
Approximately 42% of Queensland's population had a favourable view of the commodity used to produce steel, with 28% neutral and 13% not in favour.
The survey found that 36% were in favour of coal used to make electricity, with 33% neutral and 22% unfavourable.
Image: Queensland Treasury expects an increase in royalties from coal in 2015-16. Photo: courtesy of SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.