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Japan-bound coal carriers among 18 ships approved to depart Indonesia: METI

Multiple ships loaded with coal bound for Japan are among 18 ships that Indonesia has granted permission to depart, an official with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry told S&P Global Platts Jan. 14, as some Japanese power utilities carefully assess their impact on LNG requirements.

The latest Japanese coal loading information comes as METI is still clarifying the exact number of vessels bound for Japan on the list of 18 ships, the official said.
Once they depart Indonesia, these coal carriers would arrive Japan in about nine days, when it will still be in the midst of power demand season.

Several Japanese power utilities surveyed by S&P Global Platts said Jan. 12 that the utilities were carefully evaluating their LNG requirements amid uncertainty over Indonesia’s coal exports.

“We are observing the impact of Indonesia coal ban on market participants in Japan,” said a source with a Japanese power utility.

A source with another Japanese power utility said that it is closely monitoring the Indonesian situation because some Japanese buyers are impacted from Indonesia’s coal export ban.

Japan, which imports more than 60% of its thermal coal requirements from Australia and 13% from Indonesia, has about one month’s worth of stockpiles held by local power utilities and independent power producers.

Eased restrictions
Indonesia has permitted 18 loaded thermal coal ships to sail, two weeks after imposing a blanket ban on exports, sources aware of the development told S&P Global Platts Jan. 13.

Platts reported earlier in the day that 37 vessels may be released to sail if the owners had fulfilled their domestic market obligation, or DMO. Indonesian miners have an obligation to supply 25% of their annual production to the domestic market.

Out of the total 37, 16 loaded vessels were not released as they failed to meet their domestic obligation while two more were not loaded, according to a note seen by Platts from the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal.

The cargoes that received clearance for export had fulfilled their DMO and belonged to miners such as Kideco, Adaro, Borneo, Multi Harapan and Bina Insan Sukses Mandiri, according to the document.

Indonesia had banned all exports of thermal coal for the month starting Jan. 1 after state-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara reported critically low coal stocks at power plants.
Source: Platts

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