LISBON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Life is set to get even more difficult for major coal exporters with Russia planning to increase shipments of the fuel and the cost advantages appearing increasingly stacked in its favour.
Russia is already the third-largest supplier to the seaborne market, behind Indonesia and Australia, and is moving to take advantage of its central geographic position to boost exports to both the Atlantic and Pacific basins.
Finding bullish coal market participants is increasingly difficult but at this week’s World Coal Leaders conference in Lisbon, Russia provided a group of upbeat delegates. It’s not too difficult to see why they are positive about gaining market share in both Europe and the Far East from established competitors.
Taking Europe first, Russian exporters can ship into the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and by rail into Europe, allowing cost-effective access to northwest and Mediterranean markets.
Although Europe is a shrinking market for the thermal coal used in power plants, Russia is positioning itself as the lowest-cost supplier.