Russian coal exports fell 8.6% in 7M - Novak
MOSCOW. Oct 10 (Interfax) - Russian coal exports fell 8.6% in the first seven months of the year but this was but was largely offset by elevated demand in the domestic market, Deputy Russian Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in his column in the Energy Policy magazine.
He said domestic demand had grown by 6.8% since the start of the year to 99.5 million tonnes, due to 14.4% growth in electricity consumption because of low water levels in Siberian rivers.
"We must quickly resolve several key strategic tasks to maintain the sector's further sustainable development. First of all, this concerns new routes for coal exports the embargo on Russian coal imposed by a number of consumers," he said.
Increasing deliveries to the Asia-Pacific region is being considered - some coal that would have been shipped to the European market could be sent by rail to the eastern ports and border crossings. Around 25 million tonnes can be redirected from west to east, including through the ports of the Azov-Black Sea basin, Novak said.
"In this regard, we will be working with the Transport Ministry to increase the capacity of the Eastern Polygon and availability of maritime transport and to accelerate the development of coal port terminals in promising export directions, as well as reduce the cost and time of transportation," he said.
Rosstat has said Russian coal production fell 1.6% year-on-year in January-August to 277 million tonnes.
The EU and Britain imposed an embargo on coal imports from Russia in the middle of August.
Russian coal exports grew 5.7% to 223 million tonnes in 2021, when the country produced 438.4 million rubles of coal. Exports to Europe rose 10.3% to 50.4 million tonnes or just over half the EU's entire imports. Russian coal exports to China rose 38% to 53 million tonnes.