In the first quarter of 2021, the Sibanthracite Group’s production volume amounted to 4,839,000 tonnes, of which 2,917,000 was UHG anthracite, and 1,922,000 was Grade T metallurgical coal. This was an increase of 17 percent compared to the same period last year.
The main factors influencing production growth in 2021 have been an increase in demand for Sibanthracite’s products on the international market, and the deployment of additional equipment, including 24 new BelAZ dump trucks with capacities of 220 and 130 tonnes that were purchased at the end of 2020.
Sibanthracite exports about 90% of its products. In 2021, the Group is actively increasing sales volumes to steel companies. This has been driven by both a recovery in demand due to a gradual return of steel production to pre-crisis levels, and to the fact that the new product brands released by the company last year have successfully proven themselves and led to an increase in customers. In 2021, the number of long-term and direct contracts with consumers continues to grow.
In the first quarter, sales increased in Asian markets, which are characterized by stable demand. In China, sales rose by 37%, in India by 45%, and in South Korea they more than doubled. Deliveries to consumers in the Middle East – including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Oman – increased sevenfold. Sales to Turkey increased by six times due to an increase in deliveries to metallurgical and cement plants. The number of customers in South Africa and the Americas has also continued to grow.
In early March, Sibanthracite signed a strategic partnership agreement with China’s largest steel company, China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited. Under the terms of the agreement, PCI Siban, a new brand of metallurgical coal that has been produced since last year, will account for the largest volume of shipments.
In the first quarter, the Group entered another new market, Argentina, beginning with deliveries of sized grades of anthracite.
Demand from large Russian steel mills has also increased. At the end of 2020, trial deliveries were made, and, in 2021, Sibanthracite has continued supplying coal to these companies on the basis of signed annual contracts.