Russian coal deliveries to the European Union (EU) in H1 22 amounted to 18.9 mio t (-2.5 mio t or -11.6% y-o-y). At the same time, according to preliminary data, the major drop occurred in June, when supplies fell to 1.7 mio t (-1.6 mio t or -48% y-o-y).
Moreover, the volume plummeted by 3.0 mio t, or 63.8% m-o-m. The EU has drastically reduced coal imports from Russia ahead of the embargo, which comes into effect on August 10, 2022.
This drop also stems from the fact that the EU has already significantly increased its coal inventories to avoid the looming energy crisis amid lower gas supplies from Russia and seeks to increase purchases of material in other exporting countries, including the United States, Colombia, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia.
Russia, in turn, is increasing coal shipments to Turkey, India and China.
To replace missing generating capacity, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and France plan to restart the reserved coal-fired power plants this year and increase the utilization of those already in operation, while Poland aims to maximize its own production, recognizing very limited coal availability, which has led to a 3-fold increase of domestic prices from $210/t up to 620 USD/t.
However, market participants doubt that Europe will be able to seamlessly replace imports from Russia with alternative supplies. In addition, to cover the lack of natural gas supplies, European countries may need to import extra 20-30 mio t of coal.