November 24, 2014 / 12:40 PM / 5 years ago

Indonesian coal shipments rise despite new export rule -ministry

* Indonesia's coal production fell 15.9 pct in October
    * Exports exceeded production as firms sold stocks -official
    * Jan-Oct production down 7.5%, 1st fall in at least 30 yrs

    By Wilda Asmarini
    JAKARTA, Nov 24 (Reuters) - New Indonesian coal export rules
had little impact in October, the first month they were in
effect, as shipments from the world's top thermal coal exporter
increased 9.8 percent on the year, a mining ministry official
said.
    Industry had warned that exports could fall by up to 20
percent in October and 5 percent this year as firms scrambled to
obtain government export permits to comply with new rules from
Oct. 1, designed to stamp out illegal mining and ensure ample
domestic supplies. 
    Indonesia's coal exports in October hit 31.4 million tonnes,
up from 25.7 million in September and 28.6 million in October
2013, government data showed. 
    "The registered exporter requirement has not had much of an
impact on monthly output," Bambang Tjahjono Setiabudi, the
ministry's coal mining director, told reporters on Monday.
    His office has now provided recommendations for export
registration for 220 firms, he said.
    Production declined, however, by 15.9 percent to 29.7
million tonnes in October from 35.3 million in October 2013.
    According to Tjahjono, October exports exceeded production
as firms sold off stocks. "To measure the impact of this
regulation we should review it for a couple of months," he said.
    He provided January-October figures showing that Indonesia's
overall production had declined 7.5 percent to 342.3 million
tonnes from 369.9 million tonnes over the same period in 2013.
    This decline, the first in at least 30 years for Indonesia,
could have been the result of low prices, which have led
producers to cut output around the world. 
    Prices for Australian thermal coal cargoes for delivery next
month from the Newcastle export terminal, a
benchmark for the Asia-Pacific region, have more than halved
since 2011 to reach five-year lows of $62 per tonne at the end
of October, as rising output has combined with stalling demand.
    Earlier the government said it hoped coal production in
Southeast Asia's largest economy would be 397 million to 421
million tonnes this year, with exports of 310 million tonnes.
 
    The mining ministry, meanwhile, has revised its 2013
production figure up to 443.9 million tonnes from 426 million
previously. 
    A table of Indonesia's coal production and exports in 2013
and 2014 is shown below.
                    2013                  2014
            Production   Exports  Production   Exports
 January       36.8       29.3       35.1       31.2
 February      34.1       26.6        36        29.9
 March         39.2       30.3       39.7       32.6
 April         36.3       29.9       34.9       30.3
 May           39.3       31.4       37.4       30.9
 June          39.2       29.4        35        29.1
 July          37.9       30.2       31.8       27.9
 August        35.7       29.7       33.3       28.3
 September     36.1       29.1       29.4       25.7
 October       35.3       28.6       29.7       31.4
 November      37.9       30.9                    
 December      36.1       30.3                    
 TOTAL         443.9      355.7                   
 
 (Writing by Fergus Jensen; editing by Jane Baird)
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