By Alexander Bor and Alisdair Bowles
May 19, 2017 - Ukraine's total imports of coal, including coking coal, thermal coal and anthracite, decreased 9.7% year-on-year to 4.83 million metric tons in January through April, down from 5.35 million mt imported in January-April 2016, the state customs service said Friday.
The value of coal imports over the period soared 66.2% to $770.9 million from $463.9 million in January-April 2016, the customs service said.
Ukraine mainly imports coal from Russia, but also takes some material from the US, Australia, Poland, South Africa and other countries.
Coal-burning power plants received 550,500 mt of imported thermal coal and anthracite in January-April, including 137,000 mt in April alone, according to the energy and coal industry ministry.
In the first four months, Ukraine's production of coal fell by 3.3% year-on-year to 13.07 million mt.
Output of thermal coal increased by 3.2% to 10.76 million mt in January-April, while coking coal output dropped by 25% to 2.31 million mt, according to the ministry.
Ukrainian producers of coke received 3.5 million mt of imported coking coal and coal concentrate in the first four months, down 17.3% from 4.23 million mt in January-April 2016, according to a report of Ukrmetallurgprom, an association of Ukrainian metallurgy enterprises.
Coking coal is a raw material for production of coke, which is used in steel production.
Coke producers also received 1.25 million mt of domestically extracted coking coal and concentrate in the period, down 37% year-on-year, the association said.
Over the past four months Ukraine imported 280,000 mt of coke, down from 290,000 mt imported in January-April 2016, according to the customs service. Ukraine imported coke mostly from Poland and Russia.
In January through April Ukraine produced 3.33 million mt of coke, down 25.1% from 4.44 million mt produced a year ago.
The country produced 745,000 mt of coke in April, down from 773,000 mt produced in March.