Polish Briefing 4 March, 2019 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: Polish ports support growing coal imports to Poland and the region

What goes on in Poland on the 4th of March.

Polish ports support growing coal imports to Poland and the region

The Port of Gdansk is planning to double the rail transhipment capacity by 2020. The goal is to mitigate the effects of congestion created as a result of growing coal imports. Polish ports are experiencing a several-tenth increase in coal transshipment, the Argus agency reports.

Coal transshipment in Gdansk is growing…

The Northern Port is preparing the construction of a second cargo terminal in Gdansk – said the executive director of the port to Argus agency. The expansion will allow the port to double the number of rail transports transporting coal. It will increase the number of departing trains to 18 from 9 and eventually the expansion is to be completed at the beginning of 2020.

Railway blockage is a serious obstacle limiting the transhipment of coal in Gdansk. In 2018, Port handled almost 7,2 million tons of coal. About half of it was coking and energetic coal. This is approximately a 40 percent increase from 2017. Only a small part of this coal was exported from Gdańsk to Scandinavia again. The Port of Gdansk is preferred by importers because it can accept Capesize vessels with a capacity of up to 150,000 tons.

At the same time, Gdynia reloaded 2,6 million tons of coal – including both steam coal and coking coal – in 2018, which is an increase of 24 percent. Coal imports in the Szczecin-Świnoujście port increased by 60 percent year on year to 3,4 million tonnes in 2018.

…but it will be falling

The increase in coal imports in the previous year resulted from rising prices of coal on the market of thermal and thermal coal, with limited supply of domestic steam coal, encouraging power plants to buy additional tons by sea route, while demand in Central Europe for coking coal imports remained stable level.

However, participants in the Polish market expect a drop in energy coal imports in 2019, as inventories increased, and the mild winter this year limited coal burning. Inventories in Gdańsk currently amount to around 1 million tonnes.

Gdańsk is the main transit area of ​​coking coal serving Polish coking plants, as well as the entire region of Central Europe. Much of the imports come from Australia and the USA.