Russian Railways coal export increased by 1.9% in June for the first time since the beginning of 2020, primarily due to an increase in shipments to port stations in the North Caucasus, by 17.9%, and Far Eastern Railways by 4.1%.
In June 2020, a volume of 26.3 million tonnes of coal was shipped on Russian Railways network, a decrease of 4.7% compared to June 2019, including 10.4 million tonnes domestically, a decrease of 13.3%.
For the first half of 2020, coal shipments amounted to 168 million tonnes, with 10.1% less against the similar period of 2019, including 73.4 million tonnes domestically, recording a 9.7% decrease and 94.6 million tonnes for export, representing a 10.3% decrease.
In the first six months of 2020, the company’s coal shipment from Kuzbass, Kemerovo oblast, reached 102.2 million tonnes, a decrease of 13.5% in export and 2.1% in domestic traffic. The share of Kuzbass coal increased from 60.5% to 60.8%. As per the results of the first half of 2020, Russian Railways fulfilled all of its obligations to the coal companies of Kuzbass in regard to transporting cargo. As part of the agreements reached with the government of Kemerovo oblast, Russian Railways took all possible measures to increase coal exports. To maximize the use of free capacities in the south and northwest, the company provided the largest possible discounts on coal transport. In addition, FGK, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, lowered prices for renting open wagons, and today they are the lowest on the market.
Under an agreement signed in March 2020, the two sides set out plans for the export of coal products produced in the region for 2020 in areas with monthly distribution, maximizing the needs of Kuzbass enterprises for exporting cargo by rail. At least 53 million tonnes of Kuzbass coal should be shipped eastward in 2020 for export and up to 3.55 million tonnes for domestic consumption.
Despite a significant increase in demand for the delivery of other goods eastward, from January to June 2020, 27.5 million tonnes of coal was exported from Kuzbass to the Far East, a 0.1% of the plan laid out in the agreement between Russian Railways and the government of Kemerovo oblast. This includes 25.9 million tonnes for export (0.1%) and 1.6 million tonnes for domestic consumption, 0.5% over what is required by plan. Also, during the first six months of the year, 11 million tonnes of Kuzbass coal was shipped to the south, which is 4.7% higher than what was planned. The 8.5% decrease in transport volumes in domestic traffic, down to 5.3 million tonnes, was offset by a 21.2% increase, of up to 5.6 million tonnes in export shipments. In June, it increased 2.1 times, up to 1.2 million tonnes.
In the first half of the year, only 30.2 million tonnes of solid fuel was shipped to the northwest due to a reduction in cargo demand from coal companies, which is 6.5% less than the plan agreed by Russian Railways, including 23.4 million tonnes of coal exported (-7.1% of the plan) and 6.8 million tonnes for domestic consumption (-4.4%). At the same time, the dynamics changed dramatically since the beginning of July as shipping to the northwest increased by 18.6%. Russian Railways coal export increased by 19.6% in July and a 14.6% increase was recorded for domestic consumption.