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Indonesia faces thermal coal loading delays amid vessel quarantines: sources


Potential delays in vessel loading

Safety measures taken for incoming vessels

Chinese coastal stockpiles edge higher

Singapore — The loading of coal cargoes onto vessels in the Kalimantan archipelago could experience slight delays in the near-term amid lingering concerns over the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19, sources said Friday.

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A south China-based trader told S&P Global Platts that workers from a mine in South Kalimantan were wary that incoming vessels from China might contain the COVID-19, and did not adhere to their loading schedules.

"There is a slight delay of 1-2 days due to vessel checks by the quarantine team of Indonesia's Ministry of Health," said an Indonesia based trader.

"From our end, measures have been taken for ships crews coming from China. We are studying and adding more processes during the quarantine stage to minimize human-to-human interaction such as the signing of the statement of facts," said a producer based in East Kalimantan.

However, a Singapore-based source who was familiar with the matter said operations were as per normal, but did not provide further information.

An Indonesia-based trader did not report any delay in vessel loading, but heard that incoming vessel crews were not allowed to exit the cabin.

"How can a vessel make its way to Indonesia but not allowed for loading?" said another producer based in East Kalimantan.

Another producer reckoned that seaborne trades might be potentially impacted until the COVID-19 subsides, in the meantime lending some support to the Kalimantan thermal coal prices.

Indonesia-based producers were also keeping a close watch on the stockpiles situation at Chinese coastal power plants, an indication for near-term spot seaborne demand.

Stockpiles at the six major Chinese coastal power plants clocked 16.9 million mt Friday, with a daily consumption rate of 381,000 mt, sufficient for 44.4 days of coal burn.

The price of the Indonesian 4,200 kcal/kg GAR - or 3,800 kcal/kg NAR - coal was assessed at $37/mt FOB Kalimantan Thursday, at an 8-month high, according to Platts data.