Russia is the world’s sixth-largest coal producer and an important net exporter – accounting for over 12% of total global thermal coal exports. Despite this key role in the international coal market, finding reliable pricing, production and trade statistics on Russia can be extremely difficult. Meanwhile, the structure of Russian coal exports is evolving in fundamental ways. The IHS McCloskey Coal Report provides insights that can help guide your business decisions in this important but complicated market.
While Europe continues to be Russia’s main importer, Russian thermal coal exports shipments to Europe are expected to fall over the next decades as Europe moves to cleaner forms of energy and market competition intensifies there with Columbia and the United States. Russian exports to Asia will gradually surpass those to Europe as Russia steps up to play a key role in supplying demand for key Asian demand centers and domestic demand declines. IHS Markit expects that, by 2020, Russia will be exporting 52 MMt to South Asia and the Pacific Rim.
The gradual shift from west to east in Russian steam coal exports will not only depend on Russia’s coal reserves but also the ability to transport its coal south. While the first factor is not in question, the latter will depend on various factors. Russia possesses massive steam coal reserves – 158 BMT of bituminous and sub-bituminous coal (end-2014). Although 75% of that coal sits in Russia’s southern regions and is therefore closer to Asia, available transportation infrastructure, high port and FOB costs, and the ruble’s “devaluation dividend” will condition Russia’s export competitiveness.
You can find detailed data and analysis on Russia’s coal market in the IHS McCloskey Coal Report, which is offered through our Global Coal Market News & Analysis service and includes: