Indonesia’s unexpected announcement of coal export ban on December 31 struck Japan’s worries over supply disruptions and promoted Japan to call for the ban to be revoked on January 5, according to Weekly Asia.
A letter from Japan’s embassy in Jakarta to Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif said at least five vessels loaded with coal and bound for Japan were waiting to depart Indonesian waters, but they could not do so as coal export licences had “not been granted”, reported Weekly Asia.
Japan had been importing approximately 2 million tonnes of coal from Indonesia per month for power generation and manufacturing.
Coal export ban by Indonesian in January is said to coincide with the country’s peak power demand season.
Other major Asian Indonesian coal importers like China and South Korea were able to shrug off the ban due to healthy local stocks and the availability of alternative sources.
Indonesia is the world’s largest thermal coal supplier, and the move might came as an expedient to help boost its critical low coal stockpiles in state utility PLN and other independent power producers.
Source: Lilya Li, Harry Huo, SxCoal