Indonesia Commodities Sector Heads for …

The folly of Indonesian nationalist posturing on natural resources extraction is coming home to roost even faster than even pessimists might have expected a few months ago. The first place to look for this evidence is the price of thermal coal, of which Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter. This has collapsed from US$135 a tonne in late 2011 to around US$85 today. Nor is there much prospect of more than a brief bounce. The reasons are very simple. Firstly the massive expansion of gas production in the US has forced US coal producers to seek markets in Asia. Secondly, Indonesian output has been rising thanks to the stimulus of previously sky-high prices.

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