Russia’s production and exports of coal in 2018 hit their highest levels since 2013, estimates by S&P Global Platts of data from Russia’s Energy Ministry show.
Russian coal exports increased last year by 3.4 percent compared to 2017, to reach 191 million metric tons (mt) —the highest level since S&P Global Platts started collecting data on Russia’s coal industry in 2013.
Coal production also reached its highest level since 2013—at 431.76 million mt, Russia’s production increased by 6 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
On Thursday Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak briefed President Vladimir Putin on the Russian energy sector production in 2018, saying that of around 433 million tons of coal is planned to be produced in 2020. The government plans to invest around $22.4 billion (1.5 trillion Russian rubles) in its coal industry and port infrastructure, Novak told Putin.
Thermal coal traders in Europe have been unanimous in the opinion that Russian producers have been adamant to be the dominant supplier to the market, which in itself was likely to spur on higher exports to Europe.
Russian producers have made considerable efforts to grow market share in developing Asian markets, such as Taiwan and Korea.
In the first 10 months of 2018, Taiwan imported 8.5 million mt of Russian thermal coal, which was a rise of 7% from the year-ago period, according to the latest customs data.
In the first 11 months of 2018, South Korea imported 18.6 million mt of Russian thermal coal, which was a rise of 15.6% from the year-ago period, according to the latest customs data.