By Takeo Kumagai
January 20, 2022 - Three more carriers laden with thermal coal have left Indonesia for Japan after obtaining permission to do so as of Jan. 19, an official with Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry told S&P Global Platts Jan. 20.
These are the latest departures after Indonesian authorities eased a ban on exports.
The three coal carriers bound for Japan left Indonesia over Jan. 18-19, just days after three ships laden with thermal coal left Indonesia for Japan on Jan. 14, the official said, adding that the ministry remains vigilant about ensuing developments.
It was not immediately clear about additional loadings of Indonesian thermal coal for Japan.
The six carriers laden with thermal coal will arrive in Japan later this month after a 9-day voyage. January is in the midst of Japan's peak winter demand season.
Several Japanese power utilities are assessing the impact of the arrival of these thermal coal cargoes on their LNG requirements.
Indonesia has eased its coal export restrictions after imposing a blanket ban on exports of thermal coal for the month starting Jan. 1, following a report by state-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara that coal stocks at power plants were critically low.
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.