In September, about 208,000 tons of coal, mined in the separatist-held territories of eastern Ukraine, were exported from Russia to Europe.
This is 18% increase or about 33,000 tons more than in August, which was about 175,000 tons. The estimates were provided by LIGA.net, with reference to the available data of Russian Railways and Russian Federal Customs Service.
Four Russian companies - Gas Alliance Company, Petroleum Capital, Anthracite Trade House and Russian Anthracite, accounted for 77.8% or 161,400 tons of all coal exports from the separatist-held territories of Ukraine in September.
Recent reports indicate that from August to September, the export of coal from the ports in the south of Russia, including Donbass coal, was hampered by the restrictions imposed by Russian Railways.
"The priority now is given to railroad trains with materials for the construction of the Kerch Bridge. Therefore, in Rostov there was a significant accumulation of railway cars with coal and there were delays in shipments," LIGA’s reported citing its sources.
Since July, large companies engaged in the export of coal from the separatist-held areas of the Donbass have stopped processing such deliveries through Russian customs bodies. This has made it difficult to track the flow of coal through the border crossings that are not under the control of the Ukrainian authorities.
For example, the companies Gaz-Alliance and ZAO Vneshtorgservis, which controls former DTEK's mines in separatist-held areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, are no longer treated in Russia as importers of anthracite from Ukraine.
According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, in September, Gaz-Alliance delivered abroad over 82,000 tons of anthracite coal of "unknown origin".
Russian traders continue to register most of the shipments of such coal through offshore companies without specifying the country of destination.
Among such companies are: Coal Trade Anthracite LLP and Gregol Limited from the UK, both controlled by brothers Alexander and Sergey Melnichuk; Cargo & Natural Resources Corp. Limited, Altercom Limited and Yorkland Merchants limited, all from Hong Kong; and Bornholm Inter LP.
It was reported earlier that anthracite moving from separatist-held areas of the Donbass through Russia came semi-legally to Poland. The profits mainly go to the leader of the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic), Igor Plotnitsky.
Poland confirmed that it did indeed receive coal from the Donbass. Polish authorities assured that coal supplies from the Donbass will be banned from now on.