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Wednesday, 22 June 11
BOOMING INDONESIAN COAL EXPORTS - BLEEDING INDIAN POWER INDUSTRY


COALspot.com - Indonesia shipped 28.962 Million tons of coal  in May 2011, up by 15.86 percent compared to April export of about  24.995 million tons, Indonesian coal industry sources said. 56.30 percent up year-to year.

China's Indonesian coal imports have jumped up drastically in May by 2.105 MMt compared to its April imports. Chinese coal imports from Indonesia in May was higher than India's imports from Indonesia. India has imported 6.368 million tons in May where’s China has imported about 8.21 MMt which was 1.841 million MT higher. 

India has lost its largest Indonesian coal importer status to China first time in the last five months. India was the largest Indonesian coal importer since January 2011 followed by China and other Asian countries. China is expected to import more coal in this month and coming months to increase energy supplies to prevent a worsening of its  summer power shortage in seven years.

According to analyst, China faces a power shortfall, and that may extend to 40GW this northern summer, surpassing its 2004 power shortfall. China’s benchmark power-station coal prices rose to the highest since October 2008 as summer electricity demand increased in the world’s fastest-growing major economy, as quoted by Bloomberg its report early this week.

According to Indian coal minister,  Indian coal imports may be at 250 million tons per annum by 2016. Coal imports is unavoidable option for Indian utilities due to non availability of  economically viable coal from domestic mines.  However, according to Indian UMPPs, due to Indonesian government regulation that forces all coal producers must sell coal at government declared monthly prices, would cost them at least US$ 30 per ton higher than they previously budgeted.

"Implementation of this proposed new rule  by the Indonesian government ( I.e., the law mandates all coal producers to sell coal at government declared prices) will adversely impact all existing and future imported coal-based power plants in India, including UMPPs," Ashok Khurana, the Director General of the Association of Power Producers, said as reported by an Indian paper.

“When Indian companies invest in Indonesia, they tend to have the intent to sell coal at cost, so that Indonesian business unit remained at no or negligible profits. Taking a holistic view, however, the cash flows in an integrated Indonesian coal mining and Indian power generation unit after this regulation will continue to be similar, except that income taxes will be paid in Indonesia, and the cash flows will need to be brought on the books on Indian power project after paying taxes in Indonesia through appropriate and innovative business structuring,” said Dipesh Dipu, director, at Deloitte, mydigitalfc reported.


Indonesia has introduced bench mark pricing mechanism for its coal  since February 2010, and it has implemented for the domestic supplies as well export market. The pricing was done on very transparent way using four internationally acceptable coal indices to generate monthly Indonesian coal reference prices for about 62 types of coal including 8 types of bench mark qualities.

The regulation also requires miners to report sales volumes, prices, and buyers every month to the government, allowing it to ensure that the rules are being followed. Violations can lead to revocation of mining permits. The price benchmark aims to prevent firms selling coal to affiliates at low prices to avoid taxes that hurts Indonesia's efforts to collect revenues from its massive commodity exports.

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia has set the June 2011 Indonesian Coal Reference Price for thermal coal at US$ 119.03 per ton per ton, which was 1.20 percent higher than May 2011 price of US$ US$ 117.61. Assessment basis of coal price reference was calculated considering coal with GCV (GAR)  6,322 kcal/kg, Total Moisture (arb) 8.00%, Total Sulphur (arb) 0.8%, Ash Content (arb) 15.00% and  delivery free on Board (FOB) Vessel basis  and applicable for spot contract, delivery between 1 – 30 June 2011.

Indonesian bituminous coal of 5,500 kcal/kg NAR was offered at between $ 108 - 110 a ton, FOB vessel basis this week, slightly up from last week price, traders said.

According to Indian power industry sources opined that  Indian UMPPs ( ultra-mega power project) suddenly caught in between as the concept of UMPP was implemented 4 to 5 years back. The large scale industrial houses in India  have bided and secured UMPP licenses based on the open market prices /long term coal contracts from Indonesian producers (I.e., pre regulated Indonesian market). Now that Indonesian coal reference price mechanism is in place all the UMPP's are seeking Indian government’s assistance in revising the Power Tariff of UMPP.

Now, the bankers who have funded the projects are bit worried about the rising Indonesian coal costs versus the power sales price which was pegged at pre-regulation prices, Indian banking industry sources said. Now, we need to see whether Indian Government allows the UMPPs to revise the power sale prices based on Indonesian coal reference price mechanism.

As such India cement and steel industries were used to buy coal from South Africa and Australia on index base pricing mechanism since last four to five years. in view of the attractive profit margin levels, entire Indonesian coal producers migrated to Index based pricing for coal contracts . “Where's still many of the Indian utilities and private consumers are still procuring the coal on firm delivered basis. This concept is creating lot of confusion in the Indian trade circles” an Indian trader commented.

77.12 percent of total coal exports in May goes to China, India, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan respectively.

The coal export information within this article is provided by coalspot.com on an "as is" and "as available” basis. All details about, given in good faith, without guarantee. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information furnished in this article. COALspot.com shall be obliged if errors / omissions are brought to its notice for carrying out corrections in this article.



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