German coal imports rose 8% in 2022, Russia sold 37% less - data

28th February 2023

By: Reuters


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FRANKFURT – Germany last year imported 44.4-million tonnes of hard coal, 8% more than a year earlier, as it burnt more coal after Russia turned off the gas taps, industry figures showed on Monday.

Russia's coal shipments to the country dropped by 37% in the year in reflection of a European Union ban on Russia receipts after August 11, the data, made available by coal importers' group VDKi on request, also showed.

VDKi said that Russia delivered 13-million tonnes to Germany in the Calendar Year but, despite the sharp decline in the volume, remained the number one supplier.

Russia accounted for a 13-million tonnes share, 29.3% of the total.

VDKi said at its annual meeting in January that its members were set on ending reliance on Russia after the ban, which came amid sanctions after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and had successfully opened alternative channels.

The United States last year stepped up deliveries, hiking exports to Germany by 32% to 9.4-million tonnes, followed by Colombia, Australia and South Africa in that order, among others, the data showed.

German utilities revved up coal burning for electricity to help avoid possible shortfalls of gas for industry processes, bringing back coal as a back-up, despite its high carbon emissions.

The government has backed efforts to shore up liquefied natural gas (LNG) and pipeline gas purchases of non-Russian origin to make this a short-term trend only, and scale back coal.

VDKi noted that some Russian material still arrived in Germany after August 11 because of intra-EU shipments, with neighbouring countries depleting previously stored Russian coal stocks, which is permitted under the embargo rules.

VDKi data include imports of steam coal for power generation, and coking coal, coke and briquettes for other uses, predominantly steel-making.

Edited by Reuters


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