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Anthracite prices may rise on Ukraine crisis

World Coal,

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine between state military and Russian separatists could force prices of anthracite coal up.

Atlantic Coal’s project development director, Barney Corrigan, said that the conflict – which has so far claimed thousands of lives – could have a “positive” effect on market prices of anthracite coal.

For over a year, cheap exports of the premium product, the preferred choice for the steel industry, from Ukraine have led to a fall in prices.

According to Proactive Investors, Ukrainian anthracite “has more than likely been exported at less than production cost.”

However, the ongoing conflict has seen the eastern industrialised region of Ukraine witness heavy fighting that has forced some coal mines to close. This has turned Ukraine from an exporter of coal to an importer.

Corrigan explained a lot of the coal mines in eastern Ukraine and the infrastructure such as overland conveyors and railway bridges have been severely damaged or, in some cases, completely destroyed.

"Ukraine is now seeking to import anthracite through the western Ukraine port of Yuzhnyy (near Odessa) well away from the area of conflict in eastern Ukraine," he said.

The port of Mariupol in the east was the usual export route but that is in the conflict zone.

Atlantic a US- focused anthracite  producer, whose flagship mine is Stockton in Pennsylvania. Currently, Atlantic's product is sold exclusively into the domestic US market but it has been in talks with various export markets, as it bids to become a far bigger player in the coal sector.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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