The decline in prices has not been as pronounced with Russian exports: from 21 April to 12 May, a tonne of coal at the Vostochny port on the Russian Pacific coast dropped 5% in price, from $130.2 to $124.28, while that at South Africa’s Richards Bay tumbled by as much as 19%, from $132.2 to $107.
This, according to Argus, makes Russian supplies less attractive, with buyers switching to cheaper Colombian and South African coal, while analysts expect a fall in Russian exports.
Yet, by the looks of it, Russian coal miners are not going to be deterred by setbacks observed early this year (see Fig. 2). As suggested by the statistics, coal traffic by rail to Russian ports rose 12.7% to 47.6 million tonnes in Q1 2023.
And so did the tonnage handled by these ports. According to the Association of Commercial Sea Ports, in the first four months of 2023 dry-bulk flows of coal through Russian ports increased 18.3% YoY to 70 million tonnes.