By Vladislav Vorotnikov

A rise in demand in the global coal market has helped Russian coal miners to partly overcome the impact of sanctions.

In 2022, supplies of coal through the northwestern seaports picked up again, Alexey Shilo, deputy director of the Russian railway monopoly RZD disclosed.

“Coal operators solved the logistics difficulties in the third and fourth quarters of 2022 finding ships [to transport Russian coal] and establishing appropriate supply channels,” Shilo said.

In December 2022, coal exports exceeded the level of December 2021, said Denis Rakhimzhanov, logistics director of the Russian coal giant SUEK. “The main destinations are Morocco, Turkey, and Israel; we also supply coal to India and China,” he said.

In 2022, Russia produced 442 million metric tons (mt) about the same amount as 2021, but overall exports declined 7.6%.

In the previous year, Russia exported 50.4 million mt of coal to Europe, primarily through the northwestern seaports.

The Russian energy ministry has prepared a comprehensive coal industry support program worth $15 billion, to improve eastbound rail capacity, add domestic power production and replace imported equipment.

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, most Western technology suppliers suspended direct sales to Russian customers. However, Russian companies take advantage of parallel import, a scheme approved by the Russian government in May 2022 to circumvent Western sanctions. It allows Russian companies to import various goods without the permission of the brand’s owner,  through Turkey, UAE, and Kazakhstan, the Russian press reported.