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Russia's 2018 coal export, production volumes reach multiyear highs: ministry

Highlights

Dec export volume at 15.5 mil mt

Growing demand from Asian markets

London — Exports from Russia in 2018 came to 191 million mt, a rise of 3.4% on the year, according to the latest data from the ministry of energy, making the 2018 volume the highest since S&P Global Platts began collecting data in 2013.

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For both export and production data the share of thermal coal was no disclosed.

The export volume for December came to 15.5 million mt, a drop of 2.6% on month.

Coal production in 2018 came to 431.76 million mt, a rise of 6% on year and also the highest volume since Platts began collecting data in 2013.

The December production volume came to 38 million mt, a drop of 1% on month.

The average Platts FOB Russia Pacific 6,300 kcal/kg GAR 90-day price for 2018 was 108.70/mt, a rise of $16.70 on year.

The average Platts FOB Russia Baltic 6,000 kcal/kg NAR, 90-day price for 2018 was $86.10/mt, a rise of $6.10 on year.

Higher FOB prices for both Atlantic and Pacific markets were likely to be a big incentive to produce and export more tons to the seaborne market with the ability to make higher margins on volumes.

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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 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 latest customs data.

--Piers De Wilde, piers.de.wilde@spglobal.com

--Edited by James Leech, newsdesk@spglobal.com