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NUSA DUA, (Indonesia): China’s burgeoning appetite for thermal coal shipments due to a surge in electricity demand and a spike in domestic prices of the polluting fuel has spurred a flurry of deal making at the world’s largest industry conference in Indonesia. Traders supplying China and officials from mining companies in top exporter Indonesia eager to strike deals thronged the conference hall in Bali’s Nusa Dua resort for the three-day Coaltrans conference that ended on Tuesday.

China’s imports of the power generating fuel are expected to rise 100 million tonnes to a record 329 million tonnes this year, and by another 49 million tonnes in 2024, Rodrigo Echeverri, head of commodities research at Noble Research said in a presentation made at the conference.

“They (Chinese buyers) think demand will be higher. Also the non-power sector, like the chemical sector, has quite high demand,” Ramli Ahmad, President Director at Indonesian coal miner Ombilin Energi, said on the sidelines of the conference.

Expectations of resilient coal demand in China, the world’s largest consumer and importer of the fuel, could delay a peak in global coal use, envisaged under climate goals, as miners supply coal for longer at competitive prices, traders say.

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