TUESDAY, JAN 04, 2022 – 12:00 PM

Chinese coal futures rose on Tuesday on Indonesia’s export ban over the weekend. Indonesia is the largest exporter of dirty fossil fuel, stoking fears of supply woes as the Northern Hemisphere winter is underway. 

Bloomberg Intelligence notes ever since China suspended coal imports from Australia in 2020, Indonesia has become an important source, making up 70% of China’s total thermal coal imports.

Indonesia’s export ban sent the most active coal contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange soaring as much as 6% on Tuesday. 

On Monday, Indonesia’s state utility provider warned the country was facing a “critical period” of supply woes. The export ban will enable power plants to restock domestic coal supplies to avoid rolling blackouts. 

“The move could potentially have knock-on effects in China and India, which are the usual destinations for Indonesian coal,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING.

China has increased domestic production in recent months ahead of winter. Chinese coal miners should benefit from Indonesia’s disruption as prices and sales increase. 

Indonesia’s export ban will only last through January but could slash global seaborne supply by 45%. Indonesia is the largest exporter of coal in the world. 

Coal prices in other regions have received a boost. Taking a look at the US, Peabody Energy Corporation, the largest private-sector coal company globally, shares jumped 12% on Monday.

Even though dozens of countries have joined international alliances to phase out coal, the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel is going nowhere for the time being as an energy crisis continues to ripple through the world.