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H1'16 coal output from Russia's Kemerovo region increases 8% YOY

Coalproduction from Russia's Kemerovo region increased to 108 million tonnes in thefirst half of 2016, 8% more than in the same period last year, Interfaxreported July 18, citing figures from the Kemerovo regional government.

Theregion produced 30.7 million tonnes of coking coal and 77.3 million tonnes ofthermal coal, with 60 million tonnes in total heading for export as customersin East Asia accounted for a larger slice of demand than before, according toInterfax.

Thebiggest producer was SiberianCoal Energy Co. OJSC, which mined 53 million tonnes of coalthroughout the country in the six-month period — 15% more than in the sameperiod of last year, according to a July 16 statement.

Meanwhile,stockpiles of coal in the region fell to 9.2 million tonnes, down from 10.3million tonnes mid-year 2015.

Overallcoal production in the Kemerovo area is forecast at 217 million tonnes for2016, according to figures from the regional government's department of coalindustry.

Despitethe rise in output, Russian coal producers are facing tougher competition andlower prices on exports. In the home market, meanwhile, power companies areusing less and less coal, with the mineral's share in electricity generationfalling from 27% in the early 2000s to approximately 24% at present, accordingto figures in Russian newspaper Gazeta.

Gasis heavily subsidized for domestic buyers, while coal is not.

Despitethat, production is on the rise, due to huge new coal mines, such as 's project in Siberia, andexpansions at SUEK's Apsatskoye and Tugnuysky mines in the Russian east.