Sergey Kondratiev, Deputy Head of the Economic Department of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Delovoy Peterburg newspaper about coal supplies to the Baltic States and Finland.
The European Union embargo on Russian coal, which came into force on August 10, almost completely cut off coal supplies to Estonia. This follows from the data on the country's foreign trade for October, published by Statistics Estonia on December 9th.
To assess the consequences of the loss of coal supplies, it is important to consider who exactly was its consumer, Sergey Kondratiev notes.
“It is quite difficult to replace coal, for example, in metallurgical production. In individual boiler houses, fuel oil can often be used as a backup fuel. But if coal is used in power plants or in boilers of large boiler houses, then, in my opinion, Estonia should not have any problem, since there are spare capacities for this case," the expert argues.
At the same time, he notes that potential difficulties are in any case compensated by supplies from other countries, and if they were not found, then it is now economically unprofitable in principle.
The second country bordering the Leningrad Region, Finland, has also completely abandoned Russian coal since September, in compliance with sanctions. Back in August of this year, judging by the data of the Finnish customs, deliveries dropped to a minimum and amounted to 5.8 thousand tons, which is 13.3 times less than in the same month of 2021.
In addition, according to the expert, the situation on the world coal market should be taken into account.
"This year, the situation in terms of prices on it was very volatile, they could change by $ 50-100 per ton in 1-2 months. Now the situation is quite favorable for consumers, because China is reducing coal imports and many suppliers who are looking for themselves in the market China, are ready to consider alternative buyers," Sergey Kondratiev notes.
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