In 2017, international trade in thermal coal amounted to 1.3 billion tons. In the markets of the Asia-Pacific region (APR) there is an increase in demand, which will allow Russian coal to strengthen its position in the international market of steam coal, a presidential commission in Kemerovo said on Monday in Kemerovo. Energy Minister Alexander Nowak.
According to his forecasts, already in 2018, coal exports from Russia will increase by 11% to 200 million tons. He sees the main growth potential in Asian markets: Russian energy coal occupies about 40% of the European market, the share of the Asian region does not exceed 9, 3%. By 2025, it is planned to bring it to 20%. To achieve such indicators: in 2025, coal production in Russia will amount to 560 million tons instead of the previously projected 460 million tons, and by 2030 this figure could increase by another 30 million tons. This will require about 1 trillion rubles. private investment in production.
Transportation of coal is carried out mainly by rail. According to the Institute of Natural Monopolies Problems (IPEM), in 2017, coal loading amounted to 358.5 million tons, in the first seven months of 2018 - 216.3 million tons, which is 5% more than in the same period last year. The share of coal in the freight turnover of Russian Railways in 2017 is 43%, the revenue from transportation is 140 billion rubles.
At the meeting of the commission for the fuel and energy complex, the general director of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov estimated the investment in the expansion of the "Eastern Test Site" at almost 700 billion rubles. until 2025. Expansion of the capacities of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian railways will increase the transportation of coal to 195 million tons per year, he said on Monday. Novak at the meeting announced the figure - 201 million tons by 2025.
According to the International Energy Agency, the global coal consumption will reach its peak in 2022-2023. - it will be about 5.8 billion tons annually. At this level, consumption will continue in 2030-2040. Now the price of energy coal is at the level of 2008 (about $ 105 per tonne). In combination with a weak ruble, these factors make investments in coal mining in Russia profitable.
The main consumers of Russian coal in the Asia-Pacific region are South Korea, Japan, China, India and Vietnam, according to Maxim Khudalov, director of the corporate ratings group of ACRA. These countries, according to him, accounted for about 47% of all coal exports from Russia. "Russian imports in the consumption of the region is no more than 2.8%. Perhaps it will be possible to increase the share to 5%. But it will not be easy, "the analyst said. China reduces consumption of low-grade coals of its own and Indonesian. Come to this market can only be high-quality coal, but this will require significant investment: it will not be selling ordinary coal, but high-quality, Khudalov explains: "Now Russia exports mostly unprocessed coal, as it is already of high enough quality. But to increase supplies to China, coal will require additional enrichment. "
An additional factor of influence on the coal market is the United States, the analyst emphasizes. China and the United States are in a state of trade war, which potentially gives Russian coal miners an opportunity to step up their activity on the Chinese market, but the process of restructuring bankrupt coal enterprises is under way in the United States, and with the support they will begin to increase exports.
Russia can increase the export of coal to the Asia-Pacific region by 100 million tons, it will be already difficult to realize a larger volume, and the market situation may change, Khudalov said: "Perhaps the market expects coal to fall in value, the dollar will strengthen. Under such conditions it will be unprofitable to supply coal to China from the USA, Australia and Indonesia, while Russian coal with a weak ruble will remain competitive. " Cheaper than in Russia, coal mining only in Indonesia, adds Khudalov.
Until 2025 to implement the announced plans will be extremely problematic, believes Nikolay Sosnovsky, Director for Metallurgy and Mining Prosperity Capital Management: "There is not enough port infrastructure in the Far East, the railway is already becoming a bottleneck, and there are no major producing assets yet horizon ". It is necessary to develop the Yakut and Tuva basins, and these are billions of dollars and years of construction, he continues. "If we consider even Elga and Elegest, as well-designed and potentially large projects, even progress on them is still very modest," concludes Sosnovsky.
The main producers of thermal coal in Russia are SUEK, Russian Coal, Kuzbass Fuel Company, Siberian Business Union, Sibantratsit, and Kuzbassrazrezugol.