May exports of Russian steam coal via Estonia have been effectively halted because of a shortage of rail wagons, Russian coal exporters said.
Russian rail monopoly RzHD told exporters that they must use their own rail wagons, not RzHD’s, but it has not been possible with such short notice to find alternative wagons, exporters said.
“RzHD has switched the whole railway plan of Russian coal exporters from RzHD’s rail wagons into exporters’ own rail cars, which is not possible to fulfil due to time limits and other factors,” one Russian exporter said.
“All our own rail cars have already been scheduled for use on domestic routes. As a result, up to 900,000 tonnes of coal applied for transportation by different Russian exporters to the ports of Tallinn, New Muuga, Old Muuga and are under a big question mark now and it looks likely that we will lose the exports for the whole month,” he said.
Up to 900,000 tonnes of May exports could be lost as a result, exporters said.
Talks are continuing between Russian coal exporters and RzHD but exporters doubted that a solution to the problem could be found in time to avoid a substantial loss of exports during May.
Exporters cited a political standoff between Russia and Estonia as the root cause of the problem, which has already halted oil product exports via Estonia.
Information from: Reuters via uk.news.yahoo.com