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NEWS UPDATES 2 June 2009

Indonesia’s coal giant ships 8m tons of coal to China

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PT Bumi Resources Tbk, Indonesia's biggest coal producer, said on Monday it has sold 8 million tonnes of thermal coal to China for delivery in 2009, more evidence of China's robust demand for overseas coal, Reuters reported.

Bumi did not ship any coal to Chinese buyers last year, said Dileep Srivastava, corporate secretary of Bumi Resources.

"Buyers are mostly power producing companies. The sales could be converted into long-term contracts but we think the importance is the commitment on quantity," Srivastava said at the sidelines of the Coaltrans conference in Bali.

"We see China as an increasingly large coal importer."

A company source told Reuters separately that the bulk of the 8 million tonnes were made in the months of April and May, and prices were mostly concluded in the mid-$60 range -- largely in line with market rates at the time.

Shares in Bumi, which is forecasting production of about 58 million tonnes in 2009, closed 9.7 percent higher at 2,150 rupiah ($0.210) on Monday, compared with a 4.3 percent gain in the broad market .JKSE.

China's recent appetite for coal imports, which has helped keep Asian coal prices above $60 a tonne for much of this year, has been a surprise bright spot in a region where demand has been hit by the economic downturn.

But rising Asian coal prices and freight rates are the two key risks that may dampen China's hunger for overseas thermal coal, producers from Australia and Indonesia said.


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