Big Russian Terminal Reports 15% Drop in Coal Exports

Russia’s largest European coal export terminal at Ust-Luga, near St Petersburg, shipped 15% less coal in the first three quarters of the year amid infrastructure upgrades, operator Rosterminalugol said on Thursday, according to PortNews.

Ust-Luga loaded 15.4 million tons for export, down from 18.2 million tons in January-September last year, company data showed.

In a note, Rosterminalugol said that it was currently upgrading equipment at the terminal, with the launch of “new high-tech equipment” planned before the end of the year.

Montel reported last week that tight Russian coal availability in northwest Europe had resulted in cargoes from the country being offered at USD 2-3/t premiums to the Des ARA index price.

The Global Coal Des ARA index – which reflects the price of coal delivered to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Antwerp – was assessed last at USD 100.75/t.

But Russia’s largest coal terminal, Vostochny – in the far east of the country – on the contrary hiked loadings by 7% over the nine-month period, to 18.5 million tons, the Vostochny port authority said.

Around 35% of the total was shipped to South Korea, with the remainder exported to a variety of destinations, such as China, Japan, India and Pakistan.

Combined exports from the two giant coal export hubs accounted for nearly a quarter of all Russia’s exports in the first three quarters of the year – which were up 4% at 144 million tons.