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Ukraine's coal output down 22.8% on year in November

Kiev — * Thermal coal output down 37.1% in Jan-Nov
* Output of coking coal down 52.4% on year

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Ukraine's overall coal production dropped by 22.8% year-on-year to 3.18 million mt in November from 4.12 million mt a year earlier, an energy and coal industry ministry official said Friday.

Coal extraction in November also fell 9.9% from October when the country had produced 3.53 million mt.

In January through November, Ukraine's coal output dropped 40.9% on the year to 36.35 million mt from 61.55 million mt, the official said, citing preliminary figures.

Production of thermal coal, used in power generation, fell 37.1% to 28.96 million mt in January-November from 46.03 million mt a year ago. Output of coking coal, used in steel making, fell 52.4% to 7.39 million mt from 15.52 million mt.

The plunge in coal production reflects an armed conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Most of coal mines in these two regions, including all Ukrainian anthracite coal mines, were shut down or seized by separatists since the start of intensive fighting in June 2014.

Anthracite, which has the highest calorific content of all types of coal, was widely used by power generation plants throughout the country.

Coal output in the Donetsk region dropped by 47.7% year-on-year to 13.48 million mt in January-November, while production in the Luhansk region dropped by 77.2% to 3.96 million mt.

At the same time, coal extraction in the Dnipropetrovsk region rose 0.4% year-on-year to 17.31 million mt in January-November, output in the Lviv region increased by 9.2% to 1.81 million mt, but production in the Volyn region fell 15.7% to 226,500 mt.

In 2014, Ukraine's coal output fell 22.3% to 65 million mt from 83.7 million mt in 2013.

--Alexander Bor,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,