Ukraine’s coal output fell during 2013, it has been announced by the country’s energy and coal industry ministry. Compared to 2012 levels, coal output dropped by 2.6%, or 2.22 million t, to a total of 83.7 million t. In 2012, Ukraine produced 85.92 million t.
Output of thermal coal fell by 1.8% to 59.97 million t, from 61.09 million t in 2012.
Metallurgical coal production also decreased. In 2013, Ukraine produced 23.72 million t compared to 24.82 million t in 2012 – a fall of 4.4%.
In December, Ukraine produced 7.54 million t of coal, a slight increase from 7.21 million t in December 2012, and a modest gain on November 2013 production levels, which stood at 7.38 million t.
The ministry said that Thermal coal output in December increased 6.7% year on year to 5.47 million t, but production of metallurgical coal fell 0.7% to 2.07 million t.
Analysts have suggested the country’s coal output fell due to weak demand from domestic consumers.
In particular, Ukrainian thermal power plants cut coal consumption by 1.6%, or 609,400 t, to 37.64 million t in 2013 from 38.25 million t in 2012.
Coal producers in Ukraine have been affected for years by illegal coal mining activities, which have undercut official producers.
The country has recently experienced severe political unrest, with protesters occupying government buildings and erecting blockades in streets and squares throughout Kiev. President Yanukovych has also now accepted the resignation of the Prime Minister and cabinet.
It is unclear as yet what effect the political upheaval will have on Ukraine’s struggling coal mining industry, which has an estimated US$ 200 million of debt.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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