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The Cabinet of Ministers adopted a resolution to increase quotas for imports of coking coal in 2013 in order to improve the situation in the domestic coal mining industry and ensure the smooth operation of iron and steel enterprises, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
At the initiative of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the volume of quota before the end of 2013 was increased by 1 million tons from 10.2 million tons to 11.2 million tons.
The Interdepartmental Commission for allocation of quota for goods subject to licensing in 2013 justifies the need for such an increase by the increased needs of domestic steelmakers and importance of stable operation of the metallurgical industry.
According to fuel department, the imposition of restrictions on the import of coking coal in 2013 has played a positive role in development of the basic sectors of the Ukrainian economy, despite a slight increase in the consumption of imported coal of gas group by metallurgists before approval of quotas in June 2013.
Imports of coking coal in January-August 2013 fell by 600,000 tons to reach 8.757 million tons year-on-year, including gas group – 3.417 million tons (in the eight months of 2012 the figure was 3.145 million tons).
This dynamic indicates an increase in demand for coal extracted by Ukrainian mines. Thus, preconditions for improving their performance were created on the domestic market.
The overall increase in the consumption of coking coal of Ukrainian production in the second quarter of 2013 reached 40% and amounted to 241,400 tons year-on-year.
The introduction of quotas on imports of coking coal in 2013 helped state enterprises of the coal industry sell an additional 482,800 tons of their products in 5 months of 2013, including from coal gas group - about 193,300 tons.
According to Ministry of Coal, this trend reduced the risk of emergencies in the industry. This approach to public administration is in line with national interests of Ukraine.
Ukraine is today one of the world leaders in production of coal and owns 4% of its world reserves. This provides both the population and the economy with adequate domestic energy resources. Thus, 72.2 to 85.9 million tons of black gold have been mined in Ukraine for the last decade.
Experts say even higher performance can be expected after the coal market has been reformed. In particular, the government envisions to complete privatization of the industry by the end of 2014.
After studying international experience of reforming the extractive industries, the government decided to sell or close unprofitable mines. According to industry experts, this step will help synchronize operation of inefficient enterprises, create new modern production facilities, and build new mines.
Experts say that Ukraine is closing unprofitable mines in a more social way, always in parallel with giving miners new jobs and with preservation of the existing level of social protection.
"All this should be done under the full control of labor groups and trade unions. I would like to emphasize that no mine should be closed without justification. Preservation of the existing promising operating mines is a priority vector of state policy," President Viktor Yanukovych said.
According to the State Statistics Service, in 2012 coal production in Ukraine was up 4.8 % ( to 3,955 million tons ) from 2011 - up to 85.946 million tons. At the same time, in 2012 Ukraine exported 6.1 million tons of coal for over 609 million USD.