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Japan's Idemitsu Kosan suspends new Russian coal trade


Russia third-largest coal supplier, accounting for 11% of Japan's imports

Idemitsu seeks alternative coal supply mainly from Australia, Indonesia

Follows Idemitsu suspending new Russian crude oil import trades

  • Author
  • Takeo Kumagai
  • Editor
  • Wendy Wells
  • Commodity
  • Coal Oil
  • Topic
  • War in Ukraine

Japan's Idemitsu Kosan has suspended new Russian coal trades for Japanese end-users' imports amid uncertainty over payment settlements and the possibility of logistics disruptions, a company spokesperson told S&P Global Commodity Insights March 29.

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"Currently, we are not transacting any new trades of Russian coal," the spokesperson said, adding that the company was considering alternative coal procurements, mainly from Japan's two other key suppliers Australia and Indonesia, after checking the requirements of Japanese end-users.

The company, which procures and supplies thermal and coking coal for Japanese end-users, declined to disclose its Russian coal trade volumes.

Idemitsu, which produces coal in Australia's eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales and in Indonesia, produced a total of around 8.613 million mt of coal over April-December 2021, around 90% of it in Australia.

Russia was Japan's third-largest coal supplier after Australia and Indonesia in 2021, supplying 19.734 million mt or 11% of the country's total imports of 182.629 million mt, according to Ministry of Finance data.

Australia accounted for 65% of Japan's total 2021 coal imports, followed by Indonesia at 12%, the MOF data showed.

Idemitsu's move to suspend new Russian coal trades follows its decision to suspend new Russian crude oil import trades, reported by S&P Global March 23, amid uncertainty over payment settlements and the possibility of logistics disruptions.

The latest decision by Idemitsu, Japan's second-largest refiner, came to light a day after ENEOS Holdings Chairman Tsutomu Sugimori said Japan's largest refiner does not plan to sign any Russian crude oil import contracts following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia supplied 4% of Japan's total crude oil imports of 2.48 million b/d in 2021, with the Middle East supplying 92% of the inflows, according to MOF data.