Authorities are considering introducing an export duty on coal, media reported

MOSCOW, 15 Sep — PRIME. The Russian authorities, looking for sources to cover the budget deficit, are considering imposing an export duty on coal, similar to fertilizers, Kommersant newspaper reports, citing sources.

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The publication recalls that the government is actively discussing the parameters of the budget for next year. And given the growth in spending and the expected deficit, the Ministry of Finance is actively looking for new sources of income. According to sources of the publication, the mechanism under discussion involves the cut-off price and the percentage of withdrawal if it is exceeded. At the same time, last year, despite the desire to increase the tax burden on the non-oil sector, the government decided not to increase it for thermal coal.

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Now it is tentatively supposed to introduce a cut-off price, above which the duty comes into force. Another source of “Kommersant” estimates the size of the duty in the current conditions at 9-10 dollars per ton. Coal exports from Russia can be estimated based on Argus forecast data at 190-200 million tons for the year, Boris Krasnozhenov from Alfa-Bank told the publication. With the current exchange rate of the ruble against the dollar and the considered value of the export duty, budget revenues could amount to 100-120 billion rubles, the analyst calculated.

At the same time, it is noted that in the current conditions the sector does not have much profit. Russian coal companies have lost the European market due to the embargo introduced in August, forcing them to engage in costly redirection of export flows to Asian markets. As a result, despite the fact that world prices for coal are at high levels, Russian companies sell it for export at a significant discount.

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Views of Moscow

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Thus, according to the slides shown at the WEF by UMMC Director for Port and Railway Projects Irina Olkhovskaya, the gap between prices in the European market (CIF ARA) and the price of selling coal from Russia in the ports of the Far East reached 70%. Compared to last year, the discount has grown seven times.

In addition, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said earlier in September that due to the EU embargo, coal production in Russia would fall by 6% by the end of the year. At the same time, 438.1 million tons were mined last year, and export deliveries amounted to 214.4 million. As for the main coal-producing regions, according to the Kuzbass Ministry of Coal Industry, in January-July of this year, production in the Kemerovo region decreased by 9%, to 126 million tons of coal.

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