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Ukraine's coal stocks rise 7.5% on month to 1.44 million mt as warm weather reduces demand

Ukraine's overall reserves of coal at thermal power plants rose for the first time in three months after warm weather reduced demand, the energy and coal industry ministry said Thursday.

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Stocks rose 7.5% on the month to 1.44 million mt as of May 2, up from 1.34 million mt as of April 2, the ministry said.

Inventories increased as Ukraine completed its centralized heating season in mid-April, a six-month period that sees greater use of coal for heating and power generation.

Reserves of thermal coal, which is widely used at the country's thermal power plants, rose 19.5% to 1.16 million mt as of May 2, up from 971,300 mt as of April 2.

However, stocks of anthracite, a type of coal with the highest calorific content, at power plants dropped 24.2% to 276,100 mt as of May 2 from 364,400 mt as of April 2, the ministry reported.

Ukraine, one of the world's biggest producers of coal, began experiencing shortages of coal, mostly anthracite, from June 2014 due to a military conflict with Moscow-backed rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk, its main coal producing regions.

Ukraine imported 5.75 million mt of coal, including anthracite, in January-March, up from 3.65 million mt in the same period a year ago, according to the state customs service. Ukraine received 62.1% of its coal imports coal from Russia, 28.9% from the US and 6.4% from Canada.

Inventories of coal at power plants are much lower than last year, when there were 1.94 million mt of coal in warehouses as of May 3 2017, including 343,600 mt of anthracite and 1.6 million mt of thermal coal.

--Alexander Bor,
--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter,