Russian energy ministry expects coal production recovery to pre-pandemic level in 2021

Deputy Energy Minister awaits the industry to reach the level of 2019.
Russia’s coal production is expected to reach the level of 2019, after which coal producers started to reduce output amid the coronavirus pandemic-related economic crisis and the falling demand in western countries, by the end of this year, Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky told reporters on Tuesday.

“I think that this year coal production will reach the level of 2019. At least the rates of those five months that have passed show that it is a workable objective. We lost 40 mln tonnes [of coal] during the COVID year, and we can get them back this year,” he said.

According to the figures provided by the Russian Energy Ministry, coal production dropped by 9% in 2020 to 402 mln tonnes. Meanwhile export overall went down from 221 mln tonnes to 208 mln tonnes. That was due to a decline in demand in western countries that started to abandon coal generation and reduce coal consumption. At the same time, the demand for Russia’s coal in Asian-Pacific countries gained roughly 10% last year. This year’s export volumes are positive, Yanovksy said.

“Exports rose in 4-5 months. In the structure of export volumes, coking coals and anthracite coals are constantly growing, whereas the volume of traditional coals is declining,” he noted.