By Alexander Bor and Alisdair Bowles
April 6, 2017 - Ukraine's production of coal decreased by 12.6% year-on-year to 2.98 million mt in March from 3.41 million mt produced in March 2016, the energy and coal industry ministry reported Thursday, citing preliminary data.
Output also dropped by 19.7% in comparison with February, when 3.71 million mt of coal was extracted.
In the first quarter, Ukraine produced 10.34 million mt of coal, up 3.4% year-on-year, or by 340,000 mt, from 10 million mt produced in January-March 2016, the ministry reported.
The country's state-owned mines extracted 1.32 million mt of coal in January-March, down from 1.58 million mt in the same period of 2016.
Ukraine's coal production has been disrupted since June 2014 due to the armed conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk, the country's two key coal production regions. Parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are currently under control of pro-Russian separatists.
Coal output in the government-controlled parts of the Donetsk region decreased by 12.8% year-on-year to 3.53 million mt in January-March, down from 4.05 million mt a year ago. Production of coal in the government-controlled parts of the Luhansk region soared by 31.8% to 1.41 million mt from 1.07 million mt a year ago, the ministry said.
At the same time, coal output in the Dnipropetrovsk region increased by 12.7% to 4.98 million mt from 4.42 million mt. Coal extraction in the Lviv region fell 2% to 383,600 mt from 391,500 mt, and coal production in the Volyn region dropped by 41.8% to 31,800 mt from 54,600 mt.
Ukraine produced 40.86 million mt of coal in 2016, compared with 39.74 million mt in 2015, 65.0 million mt in 2014 and from 83.7 million mt in 2013, according to the ministry.