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Australia coal ports shut as cyclone intensifies

Published on Jan 30, 2014 3:24 PM

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Industrial ports have closed along Australia's Queensland coast as a cyclone strengthens offshore, bringing some of the world's largest coal shipping operations to a halt, port officials said on Thursday.

Tropical Cyclone Dylan has formed off the north Queensland coast and is expected to continue moving in a general southwesterly direction and to gradually intensify, before hitting land early on Friday, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

It was too early to determine how long ports will remain closed, but traders said a short interruption in shipping would have little impact on markets.

At around 0300 GMT (11am Singapore time), Dylan was classified as a category one cyclone, the lowest on a one-to-five scale.

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