Steam Coal Sales Abroad Increase

LONDON — Steam coal exports will improve in October from the low levels seen in August and September but will remain below target levels, Russian coal industry sources said.

"From October the situation will be improving as power stations have replenished their stocks and are ready for the winter," one source said. "As much as possible will be delivered to the ports until the end of the year."

He added, however, that exporters were facing huge problems in moving export coal because of a rail car shortage.

Exporters said in August that they faced a cut of at least 50 percent in exports because they could not get enough rail wagons to move coal from Siberian mines to ports.

Exporters were told at the beginning of August by Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov that they had to prioritize the rail transport of coal to domestic power plants to avoid power cuts in the winter.

There were not enough rail wagons to move extra domestic coal and the usual tonnage of export material, so export coal was pushed off the system.