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Harga Batubara Australia Membumbung Tinggi
Gavin Evansin (Bloomberg)

Harga batubara Australian saat ini membumbung tinggi seiring dengan turunnya stok di kawasan Asia. Masih berlangsungnya musim hujan di Indonesia merupakan salah satu faktor penyebab, sebagaimana dimuat dalam artikel di website www.bloomberg.com berikut ini.

Australian Coal Prices Soar as Asian Supplies Reduced

March 17 (Bloomberg)-- Coal prices from Australia, the world's biggest exporter of the fuel, rose to a record on concern Asian generators such as Chubu Electric Power Co. will have reduced supplies after China boosted demand and curbed exports.

Coal prices from Newcastle, an Asian benchmark, rose $2.86, or 5.7 percent, to $53.30 a ton, according to the globalCOAL NEWC Index. Newcastle, the world's biggest coal-export port, ships coal from mines owned by companies such as Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton and Xstrata Plc.

Australian coal prices have risen by a quarter in the past month as China cut shipments to meet demand from domestic power plants. Restricted rail capacity and a port accident have slashed Australian exports, while protests and heavy rain cut supplies from Indonesia.

``The big driver is China,'' said Greg Dean-Jones, principal coal analyst at AME Mineral Economics, a Sydney-based research company. ``If they withdraw some coal that's going to move the whole market into an under-supply situation and that's being reflected in coal prices.''

China, the world's second-biggest coal exporter, shipped about 80.8 million tons of thermal coal last year, more than triple the amount exported in 1997 and one-sixth of total supply. The nation's exports fell by a third in January, according to the Tex Report, a Japanese newsletter.

Adaro Blockade

Asia accounted for 53 percent of global thermal coal imports last year, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Australia, China and Indonesia accounted for about 56 percent of world exports.

Shipments from Indonesia have been disrupted by wetter-than- normal weather and unrest. PT Adaro Indonesia restarted deliveries on March 2 after local residents ended a blockade of its mine in South Kalimantan, Bisnis Indonesia reported this month. Adaro, part-owned by Australia's New Hope Corp., is Indonesia's biggest coal exporter by volume.

``You've got pretty serious supply-side issues'' in China, Australia and Indonesia, said Clyde Henderson, director of Sydney- based coal consultancy Energy Economics.

In Australia, a machine failure has cut shipments from Prime Infrastructure Group's Dalrymple Bay terminal in Queensland state. The reclaiming machine, which collapsed Feb. 15, picks up coal from the port's stockpiles.

Chubu

Chubu Electric, which gets 60 percent of its 9 million tons a year of coal purchases from Australia, may switch suppliers because of higher prices, said Shigehisa Ohno, a spokesman for the utility. He wouldn't give details.

Japan's Electric Power Development Co., known as J-Power, used 16.86 million tons of coal in 2003, of which about 6 million tons came from mines in Australia in which the company is an investor, said Sou Yoshinaga, a spokesman at J-Power in Tokyo.

``The remaining 5 million tons of coal that we import from Australia comes from one-year contracts at the same mines we hold stakes in as it's cheaper than buying on the spot market,'' Yoshinaga said.

Korea Electric Power Corp., which buys about a third of its coal needs from Australia, said the rise in prices won't affect its imports for this year as it relies on long-term contracts. ``We will import coal on last year's prices set in October and fix the prices later this year,'' said Lee Yong Jae, a coal trader at Korea South-East Power Co., a unit of Korea Electric.

Korea Electric imported a total of 1.47 trillion won ($1.26 billion) worth of coal last year.

Dalrymple Bay

Dalrymple Bay, which can normally export 55.5 million tons a year, operated at 77 percent of capacity in the week ended March 13, shipping 820,913 metric tons, Prime said in a statement. The company had estimated Dalrymple Bay would operate at 50 percent of capacity last week.

``Due to favorable shipping arrivals and the cooperation of the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal's customers and the terminal operator, actual loadings continue to exceed our expectations based on earlier forecasts,'' Prime said.

At Newcastle in New South Wales, limited rail capacity is restricting exports from the Hunter Valley. Newcastle Port Corp. said 22 vessels carrying the fuel left in the week ended March 13, with 13 headed for consumers in Japan.

Still, with Indonesia's wet season ending and exports rising from Australia, spot coal prices may not remain high, Henderson said. Coal production from Indonesia may be restored in the next month or so, he said.

``I don't think you can expect this sort of spot price to last for too long,'' Henderson said. GlobalCOAL's indexes are compiled from both firm bids and offers and trades made on its online platform. Participants include BHP Billiton, Anglo American Plc and Rio, the three largest mining companies; Electricite de France, E.ON AG and RWE AG, Europe's three largest utilities; and Electric Power Development Co., Japan's largest coal buyer.

Reporter : Gavin Evansin (gavinevans@bloomberg.net) Editor : Reinie Booysen (rbooysen@bloomberg.net). Last Updated: March 17, 2004 05:32 EST

Sumber : Bloomberg (17-03-2004)


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