US coal exports to EU jump after Russia sanctions kick in

FILE PHOTO: Coal is pictured in a container in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., May 25, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo (Reuters) - The United States saw a 22% jump in coal exports to Europe, substituting Russian supply in the 12 months after the European Union’s sanctions took effect in August 2022, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.

The increased shipments to Europe were almost exclusively behind a rise of 5.7 million short tons (MMst) in total U.S. coal exports between August 2022 and July 2023 over the same period before the sanctions kicked in, the EIA said.

“As a swing, or higher-cost, supplier in global steam coal markets, the United States was positioned to shift steam coal exports to Europe,” the EIA said, noting a 51% surge in U.S. steam coal shipments to Europe between Aug. 2022 and July 2023, compared with the previous 12-month period.

“U.S. steam coal is a comparable quality to that produced by Russia, making it a natural substitute; both countries have premium-quality bituminous coal with a high heating value,” the EIA noted.

The U.S., along with coal-supplying nations like South Africa and Colombia, filled the gap in Europe’s coal supplies, while also boosting exports to Asia and South America, but saw declines for Africa, Australia, Oceania and North America, the EIA added.

Source : Reuters, Reporting by Daksh Grover and Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans

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