Ukraine cuts spending in foreign currency on coal imports by 40%

Ukraine in January-December 2020 cut spending in foreign currency costs on imports of coal and anthracite by 39.6% compared to the same period last year, to US$1.69 billion. This was reported by the country’s State Customs Service on its website.

During the reporting period, Ukraine imported 16.95 million tonnes of coal compared to 21.8 million tonnes a year before (a 22% decline). Russia, the United States, and Kazakhstan were the largest suppliers during the period.

Coal imports from Russia in monetary terms for 2020 amounted to US$1.043 billion (61.7%), those from the United States were estimated at US$480.3 million (28.4%). Ukraine also imported US$126.1 million worth of coal from Kazakhstan (7.5%). Coal worth US$40.8 million was imported from other countries.

Earlier developments
In 2019, Ukraine reduced spending in foreign currency on imports of coal and anthracite by 7.2% compared to 2018, to US$2.816 billion from US$3.035 billion.

Reference information
• Ukraine started facing an acute shortage of coal since the summer of 2014 as a result of hostilities in the east of the country. It completely lost control over some areas in Donbas where most of coal mines are located. After that, the country started importing coal.
• In April 2019, Russia restricted exports of products of its fuel and energy complex to Ukraine. Starting from June 1, 2019, coal, oil, and petroleum products could only be exported to Ukraine based on special permits issued by Russia’s relevant agency.
• The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on May 1, 2020, imposed a special duty at 65% on imports of coal, except for anthracite and coking coal, from Russia.

On August 18, the Cabinet of Ministers reintroduced special duties on liquefied gas, diesel fuel and coal, except anthracite and coking coal, from Russia, as the previous ruling was challenged by private companies in court.