Indonesia’s coal exports to China resume in phases: industry insider
Published: Jan 11, 2022 08:40 PM
View of piles of coal on a quay in Rizhao, East China's Shandong Province Photo: cnsphoto
View of piles of coal on a quay in Rizhao, East China's Shandong Province Photo: cnsphoto

Indonesia's coal exports to China have resumed in phases, and a dozen ships departed on Monday night heading to Chinese ports, with dozens more expected in coming days. 

A total of 67 ships are expected, an industry insider told the Global Times, after the Southeast Asian country eased a 10-day coal export suspension on Monday.

"From January 1 until Monday, Indonesia's coal exports to China were stagnant. The ban was relaxed on Monday night, but the Indonesian side did not elaborate on the daily coal volume it would release," a senior industry insider who participated in the recent coal trade talks with the Indonesian side told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The insider added that it is unlikely that Chinese firms will seek compensation under force majeure contract clauses.

Industry observers said although coal shipments from Indonesia had not fully resumed, China's coal supply issue has basically been solved. 

"China's coastal power plants have sufficient stocks, coal stocks in southern China's ports can be used for about 19 days," the person said, adding that China is also diversifying import sources, including purchases from Russia. 

While Mongolia's coal exports to China are limited due to the pandemic, there may be changes this year, the insider said.

Data from China's General Administration of Customs showed that China imported 290 million tons of coal from January to November last year, and Indonesia supplied about 61 percent of it.

According to a Reuters report, Indonesia allowed 14 vessels loaded with coal to depart on Monday, signaling an easing of a sudden export ban on January 1 that sent global coal prices higher. 

The Indonesian government will also conduct a review on Wednesday on whether it will completely scrap the ban, according to media reports.

Global Times