The Coal Trader

Russia to sharply increase rail tariffs for coal miners

Russian Railways (RZD) suggests to significantly revise the principles of tariffication of coal transportation.

However, amending the coal tariff class from the first to the second will lead to a sharp rise in the cost of coal transportation, a 20-30% drop in the margins of coal companies and the closure of the main export routes. Meanwhile, the revenues of RZD will soar 2.3-fold.

This measure also looks contradictory amid constant tariff hikes. In 2024, the railway operator plans to adjust tariffs by 10.75%. In 2022, the inflation adjustment amounted to 18.6% to the level of 2021. In addition, there were targeted tariff increases, as well as the abolition of incentives for coal exports. In 2023, the tariff was increased by 9% and the cancellation of lowering coefficients for coal export transportation was extended.

Despite this, RZD proposes to classify coal as cargo of the second tariff class, and to transfer the authority to determine the need for state support of the coal industry to regional administrations. Currently, the railroad has three tariff classes:

·        first, with a discount (coefficient at 0.55-0.75);
·        second (coefficient at 1);
·        third, with a surcharge (coefficient at 1.54-1.74).

In 2022, RZD has already proposed to move coal to the second tariff class, changing the coefficient for cargo class from 0.55-0.75 to 1.346. However, this measure would have made supplies of steam coal from Kuzbass in the eastern and western directions unprofitable.