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Coal Traders Turn to Private Finance as High Demand Lifts Prices

  • EU buyers vie for supplies after bloc’s ban on Russian imports
  • Private funds tend to charge higher rates on loans than banks

Coal traders are turning to private finance to keep shipments moving after a European ban on Russian imports sent prices up fivefold.

Russia made up almost half of the European Union’s hard-coal imports in 2020, but purchases all but ceased in August as the bloc imposed sanctions over the war in Ukraine. That’s upended trade flows as European buyers scan the globe for alternative supplies to plug an energy shortfall, causing prices to spike.