Russian thermal coal shipments to major coal consuming countries in northwest Europe rose by 7%, or almost 600 000 t, on the year to 9 million t in January-March, continuing last year's trend of increasing, EU customs data show.
The growth can be seen to be a result of stronger supplies to the UK, Finland, Belgium and Sweden. In addition, Ireland received 157 000 t of coal from Russia in the first quarter of this year, having taken no Russian coal in the same period a year earlier.
The first-quarter increase took place amid a dramatic decline in shipments to the region from other major exporters, which allowed Russia to increase its share in the region's coal imports by 11% to 53%.
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