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Glencore Sees China Coal Import Fall Offset by Indonesian Cuts

Posted by August 19, 2015

Glencore expects the sharp fall in coal imports from top consumer China to be offset to some extent by a fall in output from Indonesia, the company's CEO said on Wednesday.

China's coal imports for the first seven months of 2015 fell nearly 34 percent from the same period last year, due to environmental concerns and the government's desire to help financially distressed domestic producers.

Speaking on a conference call about Glencore's first-half earnings, Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said China's coal imports could fall to about 130 million tonnes this year from about 200 million tonnes in 2014.

At the same time, shipped volumes from top exporter Indonesia are expected to fall to 360 million tonnes this year from about 425 million tonnes in 2014, Glasenberg said.

"What China does going forward, we do have to anticipate them importing less coal, but as they import less coal I think Indonesia will take the brunt of it, because they need their coal locally," he said.

Indonesia's domestic coal consumption is growing steadily, while its output is being cut in response to falling coal prices.

Glencore posted a 29 percent fall in its first-half earnings on Wednesday because of sliding metal and oil prices and it lowered some earnings forecasts

Global coal prices have fallen about 10 percent this year, hurting top producers. The market has been stuck in a bearish trend since 2011, as incremental growth in supply has outstripped demand.

Glencore said further supply cuts were expected in the coming months, as falls in output from Indonesia and the United States have been slower "than required by market forces".

European API2 2015 coal futures traded at a 12-year low of $52.85 a tonne on Wednesday.

Glencore is the world's biggest exporter of coal and the company said its own production in the first-half fell 4 percent to 68.7 million tonnes, mainly due to a reduction in Australian thermal output.

(Reporting by Sarah McFarlane)

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