Skip to content

Russian Coal Miners Turn to India as War Upends Commodity Flows

  • Coal shipments to lucrative European market to halt in August
  • Record coal prices soften blow of selling to Indian market
Coal in an excavator bucket at a coal mine in Mezhdurechensk, Russia.

Coal in an excavator bucket at a coal mine in Mezhdurechensk, Russia.

Source: Bloomberg

The invasion of Ukraine has upended commodity flows, with one of the greatest dislocations being the re-routing of Russian coal from lucrative European markets to bargain-hunting buyers in India.

Sales of thermal coal to Europe, a market that traditionally offers price premiums, dropped to about 10% to 15% of total exports from 30% before the invasion, according to two executives at Russian coal miners. While Germany is still buying Russian coal, Poland stopped purchases in April, the executives said, asking not to be named because the matter isn’t public.