Coal output in Poland fell 16.7% m/m to 3.5mn tonnes in May, the lowest level on record due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and the resulting fall in demand from industry, local media reported on July 2. Meanwhile, coal sales slid 12.5% m/m to 3.5mn tonnes in the same period.
Poland generates nearly three-quarters of its electricity from coal but the mining industry is facing financial problems due to falling demand and rising production costs.
Poland’s utilities – which, like most coal mines, are controlled by the state – often prefer cheaper imported coal. They are also investing in renewable sources of electricity, which further depresses demand.
Coal stockpiles fell to 7.4mn tonnes in May from 7.75mn in April, but remained at the highest level since 2015, when the industry was facing similar problems, according to data compiled by the Katowice branch of the Industrial Development Agency (ARP), a state body monitoring the coal market and the situation in the mining industry.
Polish mines extracted over 61.6mn tonnes of coal in 2019, some 1.8mn less – or 2.8% – than the preceding year. Coal sales dropped by 4.1mn tonnes to over 58.4mn tonnes in the same period. That was a reduction of 6.6%.