The country's major coking coal and steel producer Evraz lifted its coal output by 16pc to 19.2mn t, while Kolmar raised production by 46pc to nearly 6mn t. And anthracite producer Sibanthracite Group mined 18.1mn t of coal in the first three quarters, unchanged from a year earlier.
The Argus daily assessed premium low-volatile coking coal price started the year at a high of $212/t fob Australia but fell to a low of $129/t fob Australia in late September, before recovering to $152/t fob Australia today. Russian coking coal is typically traded at a discount to Australian material but Russian miners are increasingly targeting the Asia-Pacific market. Russian thermal coal prices fell by 33pc to $58.32/t fob Baltic ports for Russian NAR 6,000 kcal/kg coal in January-September compared with a year earlier.
Coal output in Russia in September increased by 1pc on the year to 37.3mn t. Moderate growth of production was tracked by slightly higher coal exports over the same period — a 1.6pc increase to 17.2mn t, rail data show. Coal production has been on the rise since June, tracking the seasonal upward trend.
Some smaller mining firms also ramped up their output in the first nine months of this year. Meltek's output rose by 15pc from last year to 3.6mn t in January-September. The firm produces mainly low-volatile and mid-volatile bituminous coal, including pulverised coal injection grades and coking coal, which are priced higher in the export market. Production at Taltek and Taldinskaya Gornaya Kompaniya was up by 42pc and 12pc, respectively, to 4.8mn t and 3.2mn t. Similarly, mining firm Zarechanya, now managed by Polysayevskaya, produced 3.6mn t, an 8pc rise. And Coalstar, which owns Mayrykhsky opencast, lifted its production by 32pc to nearly 3.1mn t.
Moscow pushes for growth
Russian coking coal output is projected to increase by 45.4pc from 101.1mn t last year to 147mn t by 2035, based on the conservative scenario of its energy ministry's draft programme for the development of the coal industry.
But under the programme's optimistic scenario — based on higher consumption levels in Russia, rising global coal prices and cost optimisation by miners — coking coal output is projected to rise by 61pc to 163mn t over the same period.
Production growth is expected to be driven by increased exports, mainly to Asia-Pacific. But Russian domestic coal consumption will grow modestly or even shrink, said the document, which is still pending approval by the government.