Ukraine unable to import coal

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3/3/2015

Ukraine can no longer import coal due to hryvnya exchange rate.

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Ukraine can no longer import coal due to the rise of the
dollar relative to the hryvnya. This announcement was made by the First Deputy
Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yurizh Zyukov, according to
LigaBiznesInform.

According to Zyukov, only the gaseous coal group remains on
Ukraine’s territory. “However, right now it’s not possible to buy imported
coal. At a rate of 30 hryvnya/USD, a ton would coast 2400-2600 hryvnya. While
today’s market price is around 1500 hryvnya per ton,” said :Zyukov.

Zyukov also said Ukraine will stop importing Russian
electricity as soon as it is not necessary. “We have less demand for
electricity, and I believe that as soon as we can do away with the blackouts
and eliminate the dangers to the energy system, that agreement will be broken
off.” Said Zyukov.

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However, he could not say when that would happen.

“I can’t say that, but Ukrenergo which deals with the entire
system is in a better position to explain,” Zyukov added.

According to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, the
country imported $146.6 million worth of various types of coal. The biggest
suppliers are Russia, USA, and South Africa.

J.Hawk’s Comment: In all likelihood the Russian coal is
simply Donbass coal “laundered” through Russia so as to avoid the appearance of
buying coal from “terrorists.” Buying it from “Russian aggressors”, on the
other hand, is perfectly OK, evidently.

Just to compound Ukraine’s energy woes, its government still
seems hell-bent on closing a significant proportion of its coal mines, which
would drive up the demand for foreign coal even more.

On the bright side, the demand for electricity does seem to
be going down. Unfortunately, it is going down due to Ukraine’s economic
decline. There are simply fewer and fewer operating factories and businesses.

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