August 26, 2008 / 11:53 AM / 12 years ago

Russia coal exporters told to prioritise domestic supply

LONDON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Russian coal exporters were told by Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov to prioritise domestic coal supply for the balance of this year over exports at a meeting held on August 7, coal industry sources said.

Russian power plants have extremely low stocks of coal and the lowest hydro reserves for decades.

There are not enough rail cars available to move domestic coal and coal for export so to avoid power cuts domestic coal supply must be given priority, exporters were told.

Russian state rail monopoly RZhD has already cut the availability of rail cars for movement of export coal from the Kuzbass in Siberia by up to 50 pct.

Exporters rushed earlier this year to rent or buy private rail cars to move export coal. (Reporting by Jackie Cowhig)

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