A decision by the world's biggest thermal coal exporter, Indonesia, to ban coal exports during January would lead to a temporary spike in the commodity's prices globally. While other coal exporting countries will benefit, South Africa's gains will be limited, according to Peter Major, director of mining at Mergence Corporate Solutions.
A senior official from Indonesia's energy ministry announced on Saturday that coal exports from the country would be banned this month given the country's own domestic energy security concerns, mainly low coal supplies to its domestic power plants, AFP reported. The ban was to be evaluated on Wednesday, 5 January, but talks were postponed, Reuters reported.
Major finds the ban nonsensical - especially as Indonesia's main customers are largely industrial and include China, Japan, India and South Korea. These countries would be in a position to impose retaliatory sanctions or lawsuits against Indonesia, he said.