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This took the total volume shipped to 5.3 million tonnes over the six months, it said.

Shipment volumes mainly grew due to an increase in exports from two ports on the Sea of Japan.

At the port of Vanino, in Russia's Khabarovsk region, exports have already seen the benefit of continuing upgrade work on trans-shipment equipment, while at the port of Posyet, in the Primorye region, the start-up of a specialised trans-shipment coal complex added to the volumes shipped.

Sales to the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 75% of the company’s total export shipments in the period.

Mechel aims to sell 70% of its coal exports into Asian markets as it switches its sales focus away from Europe, chief marketing officer Benoit de Meulemeester told Steel First in October last year.

The miner said in April that it has agreed to boost its annual supplies to Chinese steelmaker Baosteel by 25% year-on-year, and will deliver as much as 1.2 million tonnes of coking coal to the company between April this year and March next year.