Coal exports from key Russian port set for 20% rise in 2019
Russia’s largest European coal export terminal at Ust-Luga, near St Petersburg, will hike exports by an estimated 20% next year, to 25m tonnes, an analyst with owner Carbo One told Montel on Monday.
Ust-Luga will likely load 21m tonnes this year, down by 16% on the year, due to equipment upgrades in recent months, Alexey Kozlov said on the sidelines of a Coaltrans conference in Barcelona.
But shipments will rebound to a “minimum” of 25m tonnes next year, he said.
Russian exports in recent years have been hampered by insufficient rail capacity, which have resulted in bottlenecks, but the situation was “improving”, Kozlov said.
“The problems with rail recently have been due to construction work [to expand capacity],” he said, noting much of this new capacity was now operational.
Meanwhile, Carbo One’s Vostochny coal terminal – in the far east of the country – will raise loadings next year by 5-6m tonnes, to 30-31m tonnes, said Kozlov.
Vostochny, which is already Russia’s largest coal export hub, will then hike capacity to 40m tonnes in 2020, as new loading capacity comes online, he said.
The significant step-up in exports will be earmarked for a number of Asia-Pacific destinations, with South Korea and Japan remaining key customers, he added.
Combined exports from the two giant coal export hubs accounted for nearly a quarter of all Russia’s exports in the first three quarters of the year – which were up 4% at 144m tonnes.