Ukraine imported US$902.2 million worth of bituminous and anthracite coal in January-August 2016, according to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (SFSU).
In particular, Ukraine imported US$594.9 million worth of coal from Russia and US$132.7 million worth of coal from the United States.
Coal shipments from Australia were valued at US$49.5 million. Coal shipments from other countries amounted to US$125.2 million.
According to the SFSU, in the first eight months of 2016 Ukraine exported US$18.1 million worth of bituminous and anthracite coal to Slovakia.
Coal shipments to Russia amounted to US$7.1 million. Coal exports to Turkey were US$3.8 million while exports to other countries amounted to US$2.6 million.
As earlier reported by UNIAN, Ukraine began to experience an acute shortage of coal in the summer of 2014, when, as a result of hostilities, the government completely lost control of part of Donbas, where the majority of the coal mines were located.
In January 2015, Ukraine reduced coal production by half to 2.5 million tonnes, as compared to the previous year amid continued fighting in Donbas.
As a result, Kyiv-based authorities decided to begin importing coal from Australia, South Africa and Russia.
In 2015, Ukraine imported $1.632 billion worth of bituminous and anthracite coal. The largest coal shipments last year arrived from Russia, the United States and Kazakhstan.
In late July, the Ukrainian government approved an action plan to prepare for the 2016-2017 heating season.
According to it, the country plans to accumulate 2.8 million tonnes of coal (1.4 million tonnes of anthracite coal and 1.4 million tonnes of coal of gas group) in warehouses of thermal power plants (TPPs) by November 1, 2016.
Meanwhile, coal stocks in TPPs warehouses, as of September 5, amounted to just 950,000 tonnes, according to Ukrenergo.
On August 4, Energy and Coal Industry Minister Ihor Nasalyk reported that a ship carrying 130,000 tonnes of coal from South Africa was expected to arrive in one of the Ukrainian ports on August 20-21.