The volume of transshipment of export coal in Russian ports increased by 18.3% in January-April 2023, compared with the corresponding period of 2022. The highest volumes of transshipment of export coal since the introduction of an embargo on the import of Russian coal into the European Union in August 2022 were recorded in March and April.

Russian ports processed 69.9 million tons of coal in the first four months of 2023 alone, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Kommersant publication.

The biggest increases in transshipment volumes were reported by the ports of Murmansk (84.6% increase), Ust-Luga (80.3%), Shakhtersk (63.4%), and Vyborg (56.9%). The share of the most profitable destinations for exporters (the ports in the Far East and the Black Sea region) in the structure of Russian exports reduced slightly because of the congestion on Russian railways.

In Russia, the increase in the volume of seaborne exports of coal is attributed to the redirection of shipments because of the loss of Ukrainian and Polish markets, to which shipments were made by rail. Exports to the European Union and Ukraine totaled 64 million tons in 2021. Since last year, Russia has been forced to redirect these volumes to the Asia-Pacific region. It shipped 140 million tons of coal to the Asia-Pacific region in 2022. In total, Russia’s coal exports reduced by 1% to 221.2 million tons in 2022, compared with the previous year.

According to experts, it will be difficult for Russia to maintain the current volumes of seaborne coal shipments in 2023 because of a reduction in the difference between the price of coal of Russian origin and coal from other countries, as well as because of uncertain sales prospects in Morocco and Turkey.

As reported, Russian ports’ freight turnover increased by 11.6% to 300.5 million tons in the period of January-April 2023, compared with the corresponding period in 2022, despite sanctions. Against the backdrop of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports, the freight turnover of Russia’s seaports in the Azov-Black Sea basin saw a significant increase, with their total volume of transshipment increasing by 22% to 100.1 million tons.