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Russian Coal Production Keeps Falling in Jan-Feb 2024

According to preliminary data, coal production in Kuzbass, Russia’s main coal-mining region where high-quality coal production is located, fell to 34.2 mio t in January-February 2024 (-0.9 mio t or -2.9% vs. Jan-Feb 2023), continuing the trend of 2023, during which the output dropped by 9.4 mio t or 4.2%. Most of the growth was coming from volumes of low-quality coal mined in Sakhalin and Yakutia, threatening to severely limit the supply of High-CV material and PCI coal in April-May 2024.

For many suppliers, current price levels and overhead costs make coal exports unprofitable. Russian coal companies are incurring losses and are forced to reduce production, and in some cases shut down mining operations and curtail projects at new deposits.

Massive safety inspections at underground and open-pit coal mines initiated by Rostechnadzor in 2022, following the explosion at the Listvyazhnaya mine (SDS), continued in 2023-2024, leading to the suspension of a number of coal mining enterprises.

Sanctions and the emerging trend of halting operations at Russian coal mines and open-pit mines, along with increasing railroad tariffs by RZD, introduction of export duty, as well as removal of priority for coal shipments in railroad transportation amid limited capacity of the Eastern range, may have a negative impact on the volumes of production and supplies of Russian coal to the world market in 2024.

Source: The Coal Hub