State-owned Bukit Asam recorded a coal sales volume at 8.8 million metric tons (mt) through Q2 2013, a 19.7% increase year-on-year. “We are in line with our plan to sell 20.6 million mt by year’s end,” said PTBA Corporate Secretary Joko Pramono. “We adjust our sales with our transportation capacity.” 

Bukit Asam saw the operation of 44 new locomotives belonging to state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api in Q2 of 2013. The cars transport company coal from sites in Tanjung Enim, in the island of South Sumatra, to Kertapati Port in Palembang and Tarahan Port in Bandar Lampung, Pramono added. An additional 230 carriages also arrived in Q2. 

Officials at Bumi, which has a 65% stake in PT Kaltim Prima Coal and a 70% stake in PT Arutmin Indonesia, said their sales volume would reach 38.7 million mt during Q1 and Q2 2013 compared with 32.2 million mt in the same period last year. The 20.2% expected increase is “mainly due to outperforming production at KPC,” said Bumi Director Dileep Srivastava. The company is targeting the sale of 74 million mt by Q4 2013, an 8.8% rise over 68 million mt in 2012. “We’ll review our guidelines in October,” he added. 

Indonesian companies are ramping up production to control costs and ameliorate the effects of plunging coal prices due to lower demand amid a slackening global economy in addition to oversupply. In all, however, Indonesia’s coal exports rose 21% to 163.69 million mt between Q1 and Q2 2013, compared with 134.98 million tons year-on-year, according to Indonesian Trade Ministry data quoted by Bloomberg News. 

Overall prices for the fossil fuel have plunged by more than 50% since Q2 2008, based on slowing imports from mainland China and rising production. Benchmark prices for Asian thermal coal at Australia’s Newcastle port, meanwhile, stood at $76.4/mt as of mid-July, compared with prices reaching $192.5/mt in July five years ago. 

This month, Indonesia’s Energy and Mining Ministry officials set their country’s coal reference price at $81.69/mt, 3.7% lower than the $84.87/mt in June and 6.7% down from January’s $87.55/mt.