Indonesia plans to release a dozen of vessels loaded with coal for exports while planning to review a plan to lift the export ban on the power station fuel on Wednesday.
As many as 14 vessels with coal are set to resume exports as stockpiles at local power plants have gradually improved, said Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs in a statement late Monday distributed to media. However, the vessels’ cargoes must be verified by the country’s Energy and Mineral Ministry and the director general of Sea Transportation at the Transportation Ministry, the statement said.
“For barges that load for exports are directed to meet demand from power plants that are still need supplies. Therefore, they are not allowed to export just yet,” the ministry said in the statement.
The ministry did not give details on the total amount of cargoes and export destination.
Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of power-station coal, banned exports of the power station fuel for a month starting 1 January to shore up dwindling stockpiles at domestic electricity generations.
The government will evaluate the ban on Wednesday, the ministry said. There are several matter that need to be reviewed before lifting the ban, including how companies can resume exports and fulfilling domestic sales obligation. The government also wants to have an arrangement for non-PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negara) contract miners.
“If the export ban is decided to be lifted on Wednesday, (exports) will be done in stages,” the minister said.
Based on regulations, Indonesian coal miners must supply 25% of their annual production for local utilities at a capped price of $70/tonne.
Newcastle still rally
Newcastle coal futures – the benchmark for Asia – was steady at $196.50/tonne on Monday, but it has surged 24.7% from $157.50/tonne on 3 January after the export ban announcement.
“The country provides nearly 40% of the seaborne market, and the ban comes at the market’s peak demand period,” ANZ Research said in a note on Tuesday.
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