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Indonesia’s Coal Exports Gain 12% in 2011, Copper Falls

Coal shipments from Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, rose 12 percent in 2011 from a year earlier to 312 million tons, according to data released by the nation’s trade ministry.

Shipments of copper ore and concentrate fell 44 percent in 2011 to 1.17 million metric tons from the previous year, the ministry’s data showed.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. declared force majeure Oct. 26 on copper shipments from its Grasberg mine in Indonesia’s Papua, which holds the world’s largest recoverable reserves of copper, after about 8,000 workers went on strike Sept. 15, demanding higher wages. The company and the employees agreed on pay increases Dec. 14, ending a three-month work stoppage.

The ministry didn’t offer an explanation for export results nor did it identify buyers. The figures which come from surveyors’ reports before shipment, are subject to change.

The following table shows exports of coal and metals in 2011 and in the previous year. Metal exports are in the form of ore and concentrates. Volumes are given in metric tons.

Commodity           2011          2010         % Change
Coal          312,137,257.98  277,858,003.80       12%
Copper          1,175,247.02    2,112,423.61      -44%
Nickel         32,626,844.88   16,979,694.89       92%
Bauxite        39,683,559.48   26,885,049.86       48%
Manganese         100,459.13      231,035.19      -57%

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