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Ukraine April coal output up 5.8% on year at 2.865 mil mt: ministry

Ukraine's coal extraction in April rose 5.8% year on year to 2.865 million mt,the energy and coal industry ministry said Monday.

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In the first four months of the year Ukraine produced 11.236 million mt ofcoal, down 14% year on year, it said.

Thermal coal production in January-April fell 15.6% to 9.077 million mt, whilecoking coal output fell 6.7% to 2.159 million mt.

In the four-month period coal output in government-controlled parts of theDonetsk region fell 12.1% to 3.941 million mt, while production in the Luhanskregion dropped 86.1% to 199,600 mt.

Coal output in the Dnipropetrovsk region fell 1.6% to 6.508 million mt, whilecoal extraction in the Lviv region rose 11.1% to 547,900 mt and production inthe Volyn region rose 2.3% to 40,300 mt.

Ukraine used to be a major producer of anthracite coal, which has a highercalorific content than other types of coal, but all anthracite mines are inareas of Donetsk and Luhansk controlled by pro-Russian separatists in sinceJune 2014.

The country began experiencing shortages of anthracite after the separatistsshut down trade with the mainland in February 2017. Ukraine was forced tostart importing anthracite to replenish stocks.

In January-April Ukraine increased coal imports by 53.9% year on year to 7.43million mt to offset the decline in domestic production.

Ukraine produced 34.92 million mt of coal in 2017, down 14.5% from 2016.

--Alexander Bor,

--Edited by Jonathan Fox,