Ukraine coking coal imports up 4% in 2013 on quota extension, domestic cuts

Ukraine’s metal industry increased its coking coal imports by 4% last year to 10.9 million tonnes, the state-run Ukrainian Industry Expertise (UEX) consultancy said on Monday February 17.

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The growth was driven by scarcity of the raw material in the local market due to a lack of financing in the sector, according to the consultancy.

The Ukrainian government extended its import quota for coking coal by 1 million tpy to 11.2 million tpy on October 31.

Coking coal output in Ukraine fell by 4% year-on-year in 2013, to 23.7 million tonnes.

Russia is Ukraine’s major coking coal supplier.

“The country has not managed to stabilise [coking coal output] and get to a stage of sustainable production growth,” the chief of UEX’s analytical department, Alexander Kraynikov, said.

“Growth directly depends on the availability of funds in the industry for timely mines preparation, modernisation of existing [assets] and breaking the ground for the new mines,” he added.

Ukraine also extended the quota for coke imports by 90,000 tpy last year to 300,000 tpy, which allowed ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih to import material to fulfil its needs.

Coke production in the country fell by 7% year-on-year in 2013, to 17.6 million tonnes.

UEX did not provide coke imports volume statistics for 2013.

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