China coal group says US curbs on Russia to keep prices high, hurt exports

Credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC

By Colleen Howe

BEIJING, March 13 (Reuters) - Tougher U.S. sanctions on Russia's coal firms will keep global prices of high-calorific-value coal high in the near term, affecting a fifth of the latter's coal exports, a Chinese industry group warned on Wednesday.

Sanctions imposed last month by Washington specifically cite top exporters Suek and Mechel among broad targets ranging from payment systems to financial institutions and energy production.

Lower Russian exports could help allay oversupply fears and reduce pressure on prices, amid projections of tepid growth in shipments by major importers China and India, and higher exports by top coal exporter Indonesia.

Russia's coal export tariffs that took effect from the beginning of this month will also affect supply to China, one of its largest trade partners, said Su Huipeng, an analyst at the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association.

March exports of coal from Russia are set to hit their lowest in at least seven years, ship tracking data from Kpler showed.

China's tariffs of 3% to 6% imposed this year on imports of coal from countries that do not have trade pacts with Beijing would also affect key suppliers, including Russia, though the costs will mostly be borne by sellers, Su told a virtual seminar.

Higher freight rates will also support international prices of coal, she added.

(Reporting by Colleen Howe in Beijing; Writing by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Clarence Fernandez)

((sudarshan.Varadhan@thomsonreuters.com; +65 91164984; ;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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