Coal shortage gains momentum in Baltic and Far East

In recent months, Rosterminalugol (Ust-Luga Coal Terminal), which is the largest coal terminal in the Baltic, has faced unprecedented restrictions from Russian Railways (RZD) in terms of limited rail shipments to the terminal. Due to a shortage of locomotives and repair work on the Oktyabrskaya railway, in October 2021, 718 thousand t of coal were underloaded to the port in comparison with the plan approved by RZD. In November, the unloaded tonnage amounted to 671 thousand t. According to the most optimistic estimates, an underload of 500 thousand t is expected in December, while following pessimistic estimates, the underloaded tonnage may exceed 700 thousand t as it happened in October.

In January-November 2021, the terminal received 22.6 mio t of coal, which is 1.6 mio t less than in the same period last year. In total, in 2020 Rosterminalugol handled 26.5 mio t of coal. Most of the tonnage was provided by KRU (Kuzbassrazrezugol).

In the Far East, RZD continues to adhere to railway bans on coal shipments to ports in the region. This is largely resulted from congestion on the railroad, a large number of abandoned trains and heavy snowfalls, which impede the movement of rolling stocks on RZD’s network. Another railway ban was imposed on coal shipments to Kolmar’s VaninoTransUgol terminal from December 01 until the restriction is canceled. RZD also completely restricted coal supplies to several terminals located in the port of Vostochny, including Suek’s Maly Port and Vostochno-Uralskiy Terminal (VUT) from 02 to 06 December, 2021.

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