Russia Coal Being Promoted in Asia

Russia is promoting its coking coal producers in Asia to boost exports and help offset a slump in demand from domestic steelmakers, Raspadskaya said.

"We understand how Russian coking coal can reach Asian markets and now is a good time to expand market share," said Alexander Andreyev, the firm's deputy CEO. Russian suppliers want to target buyers in Japan, South Korea and China, he said.

Raspadskaya, the country's second-largest producer of coking coal, and rival producers Belon and Sibuglement lobbied the state for help earlier this month as coking-coal stockpiles mounted. Raspadskaya stopped mining for a week because of a delay to payments from customers and after demand fell to "almost zero," Andreyev said.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said this month that the government would cut taxes and extend loans to stimulate demand for metals and other commodities. Evraz Group said Thursday that it received $1.8 billion in loans from a state-owned bank to help refinance debt.