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[JAKARTA] Loading disruptions at ports in East and South Kalimantan on the Indonesian side of Borneo island are causing a coal supply shortage in one of the world's most important export regions, causing delays as ships wait to take on new cargoes.
Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon and port loading schedules seen by Reuters show 136 ships were offshore Indonesia as of Feb 6, waiting to take on coal.
The affected coal ports and anchorage zones include Samarinda in the province of East Kalimantan and Taboneo, near the capital of South Kalimantan, Banjarmasin, on the island's southern coast.
The previous week, that figure stood at 108, the data showed. The two Kalimantan provinces make up one of the world's biggest thermal coal mining regions. "The issue is that coal cannot get out because local authorities are blocking it," Pandu Sjahrir, Chairman of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association told Reuters, adding that traders had complained to him about the issue.
Reuters was unable to confirm with local port authorities what was causing the delays.
Traders said that the disruptions would likely impact seaborne thermal coal prices, especially from Australia. "If there's disruptions in Indonesia, coal buyers will have to turn to alternative sources to meet their demand, and that's Australian coal," said one coal trader.
Australian prompt cargo prices for coal from its Newcastle terminal last settled at US$81 per tonne.
Indonesia is targeting production of 470 million tonnes of coal in 2017, the bulk of which will be exported to Asia.
Among the country's biggest coal producers are Bumi Resources, Adaro Energy and Bukit Asam .