Semirara sets eyes on Japan amid China’s slowdown in coal shipments

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) is pursuing its planned market expansion in Japan, a move seen as necessary amid declining coal shipments to its largest buyer China.

In a disclosure on Thursday, SMPC, the listed integrated energy company of DMCI Holdings Inc., said it would export 50,000 metric tons (MT) of Semirara coal to Shikoku Electric Power Corporation for its 700-megawatt coal-fired ultra-supercritical power station. It marks SMPC’s second trial shipment to Japan.

The group said it aims to lessen its dependence on China.

“China is still our main foreign buyer but with their industrial output growing slower than expected, we want to develop other Asian markets like Japan,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina Gotianun.

In the first three months of 2023, SMPC’s coal shipments to China dropped 50% to 1.1 million. Its engagement with China still accounted for the bulk or 72% of exports.

South Korea, meanwhile, was a “steady market” at 300,000 MT. The remaining exports went to Japan and Brunei, the company said.

“For 2023, we are targeting to export around 30% of our full-year sales target of 15 to 16 million MT,” Gotianun said.

SMPC saw its profit plunge 41% to ₱7 billion in the first quarter amid weaker coal revenues.