Ruble Ripples: Russia Unshackles Coal Exports

Coal Exports
Coal ExportsImage Source: Oreaco


In a strategic move, the Russian government has lifted duties on thermal and coking coal exports, initially imposed to stabilize local markets. Introduced in October last year, the duties, ranging from four to seven percent, were tied to the ruble-US dollar exchange rate. The automatic nullification trigger was set at a ruble value of 80 to the dollar. The decision is expected to save Russian coal producers up to $1.5 billion annually, fostering increased profitability.



The Russian government recently unveiled a significant economic development, announcing the removal of duties on thermal and coking coal exports. Originally implemented in October of the preceding year, these duties, varying between four and seven percent, were intricately linked to the ruble-US dollar exchange rate dynamics. The objective was to shield the local market from price hikes, and their expected duration stretched until the end of 2024.

A noteworthy facet of this decision lies in its automatic nullification clause, triggered if the ruble reached 80 to the dollar. This intricate link between exchange rates and duty abolition underlines Russia's strategic economic maneuvering. When initially introduced, speculation arose, suggesting a potential revenue stream to fund military actions in Ukraine.

The impact of this policy shift is expected to reverberate positively through the Russian coal industry. Local media reports project potential annual savings of up to $1.5 billion for Russian coal producers, presenting a boon to profitability.

The duties in question covered an array of products, including steel slab, billet, various long and flat steel products, pig iron, coal and coke, HBI, and iron ore. This comprehensive coverage indicates the broad scope of the government's initial protective measures.

As the duties are lifted, Russian coal producers find themselves unshackled, with the potential to capitalize on increased profitability. The decision aligns with broader economic strategies, positioning Russia within the global coal market dynamics.


Russia's decision to lift duties on coal exports marks a strategic shift in economic policy, freeing the coal industry from previously imposed constraints. The link between ruble-dollar exchange rates and duty nullification adds nuance to this move, showcasing a dynamic response to market conditions. With potential annual savings estimated at $1.5 billion, Russian coal producers can anticipate a more lucrative landscape ahead. This decision not only reflects economic pragmatism but also positions Russia's coal sector for enhanced competitiveness in the global market.

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