Coal companies refuse to export coal through OTEKO terminal at Taman in February due to heavy tariffs that make export shipments loss-making. Coal miners insist on lower transshipment costs amid falling prices on the international markets and infrastructure constraints, intending to discuss rates with the owner in cooperation with the government. Meanwhile, some companies agree to an increase in the tariff in case the situation improves and global indices rise.
A drop in shipments to Taman was already observed in Q4 2023, as volumes fell by 14% from 2.1 mio t in September to 1.8 mio t in December. In January 2024, shipments plunged 28.6% to 1.3 mio t (-0.5 mio t m-o-m and -0.9 mio t y-o-y).
According to preliminary data, coal shipments from Taman stopped in late January-early February. According to market participants, KRU, Sibanthracite and Raspadskaya do not plan to transship their coal volumes in February. SUEK stepped away from OTEKO as early as mid-2023.
Amid the downward trend in the global coal market, Taman became uncompetitive compared to other terminals, but OTECO refuses to negotiate. For export coal grades the handling rate may exceed 38-42 USD/t. At the same time, in February the rate remained unchanged compared to January and almost matched the level of December 2023, although coal indices have significantly adjusted downward over this period.
In 2023, the total transshipment volume of OTECO, owned by Michel Litvak, amounted to 25.1 mio t (-4.9 mio t or -15% y-o-y).