Total reserves of coal in Ukraine are 117.5 bln metric tons, including 56.7 bln tons of discovered reserves, from which 39.3 bln tons is thermal coal. Production and consumption of coal in Ukraine have been relatively flat in 1996-2006. In 2009 the country produced 54.8 mln metric tons of bituminous coal and anthracite, and 15.6 mln metric tons of lignite, while consuming roughly 72.6 mln metric tons, making Ukraine a net importer, despite its sizeable resources.
Last 3 years the coal production felt – from 80.3 mln metric tons in 2006 to 70.4 mln tons in 2009. Global economical crisis has led to a drop in Ukrainian steel production – that respectively influenced coking coal demand; energy consumption drop with most of the country’s industries – also caused with the crisis – has lowered a demand in thermal coal.
Currently about 45% of coal in Ukraine is being produced with private players – including their 55% share in coking coal production. At April 2009 the country’s Government announced further plans to privatize over 100 mines – but this was postponed due to political reasons.
The Ukrainian coalmining companies meet the global competition – both at domestic market (with the Russian coal suppliers) and in their export activity. Being the world’s 20th largest coal exporter Ukraine has to compete with the countries that precede it in the top-list (like Australia, China, Indonesia, or Russia).
From another hand currently the Ukrainian coalmining industry weakly depends on its export activity. Only 7.5% of coal extracted in Ukraine is being exported. Such low dependence on export makes the industry less vulnerable to the global commodity prices.
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