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Coal in Poland – June 2022. Marek Zuber and Janusz Steinhoff comment in “Fakty po Faktach” TVN24

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The decision to embargo on Russian coal meant that we have increased prices. We will pay more than two or three years ago. The only question is, how much more – economist Marek Zuber, an expert at WSB Academy, stated in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24. In turn, former deputy prime minister and former economy minister Janusz Steinhoff said that “there must be awareness that energy carriers will have to be found on world markets”.

April 15 president Andrzej Duda signed an act on special solutions to counteract aggression on Ukraine. Among other things, it prohibits the import of coal from Russia. At the end of May, deputy prime minister and minister of state assets Jacek Sasin stated that the introduction of the embargo on Russian coal meant a shortage of this raw material on the Polish market of 8 million tons, which may affect mainly the heating industry and individual customers.

Zuber: We will definitely pay more for coal

– This decision (on the embargo – ed.) Meant that we have further price increases – said Marek Zuber in “Fakty po Faktach”. As he added, it began in the middle of last year when (the president of Russia Vladimir Putin screwed down the gas in Europe, which resulted in “a massive increase in gas prices”

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Consequently, according to the economist, “there is now a shift towards carbon.” – This coal can be used where very expensive gas is used. (…) Coal is bought again wherever possible, and last year, for the second time in history, the price of coal on the most important market, Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA), exceeded $ 200 per ton. Then the war begins – we exceed $ 400 per ton. We had a correction in the following weeks, and now again an increase resulting from the embargo, because we do not want coal from Russia – he stressed.

He also added, “This hole can be filled, but not in a day or two.” It will last. Not only in Poland, but all over Europe. Maybe a few months – this is the optimistic version. The question we ask ourselves is how will it end in terms of price. It must be remembered that Russian coal is relatively cheap.

He explained that the average cost of mining in Siberia “is in the order of magnitude between USD 6.5 and 9.5 per ton”, and “for comparison, in Silesia we extract a ton of coal at a cost of over USD 50”. – We will definitely pay more than 2-3 years ago. The only question is how much more. We are not able to answer this question today – said the TVN24 guest.

Steinhoff: Polish mining is not enough to cover the demand for coal

In turn, Janusz Steinhoff pointed out that “Poland imported most of its coal from the Russian Federation”. – Our imports last year were 12.5 million tons. You have to be aware that Polish mining in Polish mines is not enough to cover the demand for coal. Therefore, we have been an importer for several years now, he stressed.

The former deputy prime minister added that “the prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki he rightly sought an embargo on energy carriers from Russia. ”

– From the ethical, moral and political point of view, such a decision had to be taken. However, one must be aware that these energy sources will have to be found on world markets – he explained.

– The price of ARA coal is now over $ 300 per ton. I do not remember such a price from the past. This is a very high price. We will see how the negotiations between the energy and mining sectors will end when it comes to coal prices, said Steinhoff.

The former economy minister noted that coal transport could be a problem. – The capacity of our ports is approximately 8 million tons per year. It’s been half a year, we will be short of about 8-9 million tons, at the moment we have 4 million tons to reload in ports, also this problem needs to be considered – he said.

He added that “there is one more important factor.” – Completely different coal is needed by municipal consumers, completely different coal is needed by the power industry or heating sector. Therefore, the government has to make serious, data-driven decisions about the relevant circumstances with which we are dealing. (…) The public must be told that this operation will be (…) costly for every Pole. These assurances that gas will not become more expensive, that coal will be at the price it was at two years or a year ago, have no justification in economy and facts, he emphasized.

He explained that you can buy coal in Colombia or Australia, “but let’s not forget about the freight prices, what are the handling costs.” – This coal will be significantly more expensive than the coal we have had so far – he said.

The trouble with coal

Due to the embargo on Russian coal, the stocks have shrunk dramatically – this is what the representatives of coal depots say about the difficulties of customers in purchasing fuel for fuel. In addition, what is there, you have to pay even two or three times more than the year before.

The government has announced that the import of coal from other directions is a rescue.

At the same time, Polska Grupa Górnicza sells heating coal in bulk with its own collection in mines through an online store, at a price even three times lower than that of intermediaries (PLN 900-1000 per ton). At the same time, the demand is enormous – greater than the availability of coal. It often happens that the e-shop website is unavailable or coal cannot be bought at the moment.

For example, on May 31, over 103,000 At its peak, customers tried to buy coal in the PGG online store. For sale, approx. 25 thousand. tonnes of this raw material lasted for over six hours, and the purchase was made by 5.8 thousand. people.

Main photo source: TVN24

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