Russia 2020 coal exports to drop 10-22%, energy ministry, August 21, 2020

Russia’s coal exports in 2020 are forecast to decline by 10-22%, amid the COVID-19 impact on market and current environmental agenda, said Alexander Novak, minister with the Russian Energy Ministry.

2020 saw the dwindling demand and falling coal prices, mainly owing to coronavirus-related lockdown, Novak said.

In the first half of 2020, coal exports of Russia dropped 11.39% to 93.99 million tonnes, according to Russia’s customs.

Global coal market also moved downwards as world’s demand reduced. The second quarter witnessed average price of thermal coal globally decreased from $63/t in the first quarter to $57/t.

Due to low prices and thin demand, some coal miners chose to reduce production to clear their stock. Russia’s coal production declined 8.4% YoY from 104 million tonnes a year ago to 95.32 million tonnes in the second quarter.

“Annual coal consumption in domestic area is forecast to reduce by 4-12% this year, and it will see a slight rise in the fourth quarter. We would continue to analyze the industry and be ready for countermeasures,” Novak said.

“In 2019, Russia exported 220 million tonnes of coal and produced 440 million tonnes. The expected 10-22% reduction in 2020 was mainly on western direction,” he added.