China Negotiating Purchase Of 100 Million Metric Tons Of Russian Coal

Moscow announced on Friday that it is working on an agreement with the Chinese government that would have Russia exporting 100 million metric tons of coal to China. Russia’s chief of Foreign Economic Cooperation Sergey Mochalnikov said Thursday that Chinese consumers should receive all the coal they need in the coming years.

Mochalnikov said that Russia expects to export coal because of reduced supply successfully. He said that prospects for exports to China remain strong through 2030, and Russia plans to “take its share in this growing market.”

Russian state media indicated that the country had a 12 percent share of the Asia-Pacific coal market last year, up by eight points from 2010.

China’s coal shortages have forced its government to increase imports, especially Russia. CNBC reported that China imported around 3.7 million tons of Russian coal last September. That was a 28 percent increase from the previous month and a 230 percent increase over the same month in 2020.

CNBC also reported that Chinese imports of Russian coal have doubled or tripled every month since last May over the same months in 2020.

China’s national power grid is primarily powered by coal, and recent shortages have led to power outages since early last year, some planned and others unexpected.

Chinese state media reported last year that the northeastern provinces in the nation have relied on coal shipped in from other provinces or other nations, including Russia and Mongolia. China has closed most coal mines in those provinces, leading to rationing and outages after prices subsequently shot to record levels.

Last fall, China’s state power utility warned there would be a “right balance” between consumer demand and state supply through at least spring of this year. There could be widespread power outages as hydroelectric production is also expected to fall as demand increases during the winter heating season.