PTBA said the company expected greater demand this year on the back of rising markets, particularly in China—Indonesia’s main coal buyer—as the global economy recovers. Coal miners suffered from declining coal prices last year as China’s economy slowed while the market had an oversupply due to growing coal production, including in Indonesia. The Asian coal market also saw more coal from American producers.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry set the coal reference price (HBA) at $87.55/mt in January, an increase of around 7% compared to $81.75/mt last December. Despite the positive trend at the beginning of the year, PTBA expects coal prices to increase by only around 10% year-on-year and not be as high as in 2011.
Meanwhile, another prime player in Indonesia’s coal industry, PT Adaro Energy, expects to produce around 50 million to 53 million mt of coal this year, an increase of between 6% and 12% from last year’s 47.19 million mt, according to a company report. The company’s 2012 production fell by 1% compared with 47.67 million mt a year earlier. Despite lower production, Adaro’s coal sales rose by 1% to 47.41 million mt in 2012 compared to 47.17 million mt a year earlier. Adaro also said in its report that it would maintain its expansion this year, but would spend less on heavy equipment.
“We began purchasing heavy equipment in 2011 to maximize productivity, improve efficiency and minimize accidents. During the fourth quarter of 2012, we spent $11.3 million on a few 200-ton class and 150-ton class Komatsu and Caterpillar trucks, which brought our total 2012 investment to $129 million,” the report said. “There will be less heavy equipment spending ahead as our current fleet provides us with adequate production capacity for 2013.”
Other coal miners had previously announced their expectations of higher production this year. PT Berau Coal Energy is targeting 23 million mt in production this year, while PT Bumi Resources is aiming to produce up to 85 million mt.