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Production in 2012 totalled 83 million tonnes, up by a marginal 0.3% year-on-year.

In December alone, output was down by 1.3% year-on-year and down by 3% from November, Rosstat said, without giving specific figures.

The global coking coal market saw a steep dive in prices in 2012 on high supply and shrinking demand.

The benchmark price plunged to $170 per tonne fob Australia in the fourth quarter compared with the $235 per tonne agreed for the first quarter of the year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) at Russian coking coal and steel group Mechel fell by 45% year-on-year to $374.8 million in the third quarter, mainly on a poor performance by the company’s mining division.