Moscow, September 5 - Neftegaz.RU. Russian coal exports in the month of August rose 1.5% from July to 17.2 million mt, an increase of 5.3% on the year, according to data released by the Russian Federation Ministry of Energy, Platts reported.
The year-to-date volume came to 112.9 million mt, an increase of 3.9% from the year-ago period. The share of thermal coal in the total volume was not disclosed for export or production.
A European trader said maintenance at the port of Ust-Luga in the Baltic earlier in the summer was a potential reason for stronger exports in August. Other reasons could have been growing tightness through the summer in Colombian coal, which often competes with Russian coal as a low sulfur option for utilities.
Platts assessed the weekly FOB Russia Baltic 6,000 kcal/kg NAR 90-day price at $93.60/mt, with the FOB Russia Pacific 6,300 kcal/kg GAR 90-day price at $120/mt Friday. «Depending on how prices move we may see exports flatline rather than grow for the rest of the year,» said an analyst.
«There is certainly the capacity for more exports but I'm not sure the demand is there,» said the source, referring to the increased nuclear capacity in Japan and Korea, potentially reducing coal demand in key Pacific markets.
Other potentially bearish factors for Russian exports are the issues surrounding the Turkish market, including domestic currency volatility, trade wars, inflation and political instability to name a few.
The volume of coal produced in August came to 36.3 million mt, an increase of 4.1% on month and up 8.6% on year. Year-to-date production came to 281 million mt, an increase of 6.2% from the year-ago period.