The year of 2019 proved that PTBA is able to maintain positive performance in the midst of coal downturn. In the future, the Board of Directors is optimistic that it can respond to any external and internal challenges, and achieve targets optimally.
Dear Shareholders and Stakeholders,
On behalf of the Board of Directors and all of PT Bukit Asam Tbk's employees (hereinafter referred as "the Company" or "PTBA"), please allow me to submit a report on the Company's performance for the 2019 financial year. The Company's performance, both on the operational and business side of things, deserves to be a source of appreciation for all of us, regardless of whether the involvement was direct or indirect in the Company's business and operations.
Strategic Policy 2019
The coal industry is highly dependent on market supply and demand due to the nature of its main energy product being classified as a commodity. The world’s economic conditions throughout 2019, which many have predicted to be that of a period of economic recession, has had a big impact on the economies of various countries. Although the trade war between the United States (US) and China has subsided, the economic conditions of these two countries still indicate stagnation. Likewise, the economies of countries in Europe are still struggling with the impact of Brexit policies.
The sluggish global economic situation has also had an impact on Indonesia. The Central Statistics Agency has released a statement that predicted that Indonesia’s economy in 2019 will grow at 5.02%, lower than the 5.17% of 2018. For its part, the Indonesian government has taken various strategic steps to be able to keep the Indonesian economy from being dragged deeper in the slowed-down world economy. This can be seen from the inflation rate Indonesia during 2019 amounted to 2.72%, lower compared to 2018 of 3.13%. The same thing was also evident in US Dollar exchange rates. The exchange rate of the Rupiah against the US Dollar (USD) throughout 2019 was in the range of Rp13,919 to Rp14,525 per USD, compared to the exchange rate of Rupiah throughout 2018 in the range of Rp13,289 to Rp15,238 per USD.
However, it was an inevitability that a slowdown in the world economy would eventually have a major impact on world commodities, including coal. The average world price index for thermal coal based on the FOB Newcastle (GAR 6,322 kcal/kg) in 2019 was US$77.77 per ton, which was marked a decrease by US$29.57 per ton or 27.65% compared to US$107.34 per ton during the same period the year before. This decrease was mainly due to an oversupply of coal supply in the Asia Pacific region due to expansion of coal sales from Russia and Colombia. The expansion of coal sales from these two countries served as an impact of the decline in coal demand in the European region along with the increased use of renewable energy in several countries in the region.
Business Prospects for 2020
The year 2020 will still be a year the coal industry has to watch out for. Projections of a continuing global economic slowdown, a Chinese economic condition that has yet to improve, and the domestication policy of Indian coal products will all still be big themes related to coal price projections for 2020. Throughout January and February 2020, the Reference Coal Price Index (HBA) numbers were at the levels of US$65.93 and US$66.89 per ton, respectively.