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Production cut quickly reduces S. Korea's coal stockpiles

All News 11:38 June 10, 2016

TAEBAEK, South Korea, June 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's coal stockpiles are running out fast due to a decrease in coal production caused by slumped consumption, industrial data said Friday.

The data released by the state Korea Coal Corp. showed that the country's coal stockpiles came to 1.86 million tons in 2015 after peaking at 10.69 million tons in 2000. The stockpile figure was almost on par with the 1.71 tons recorded for consumption in 2015.

Coal stockpiles refer to the entire amount of coal stored in pitheads, coal briquette plants, government stockpiles and at importing ports.

Government stockpiles, who take the lion's share of the entire stockpile, fell to 899,000 tons in 2015 from 8.11 million tons in 2000.

South Korea has stockpiled coal since the 1960s, when the country's demand for coal briquettes increased for the winter months and the briquettes were used both for cooking and heating traditional Korean homes.

The coal stockpiles, which dropped below the 2 million ton line in 1991-92 following a uptick in coal demand that came in the wake of the 1990 Gulf War, started to increase in 1993 before registering the all-time high in 2000.

Afterwards, the stockpiles fell to 6.94 million tons in 2005, 1.30 million tons in 2010 and 924,000 tons in 2012, as the government has reduced coal production due to its streamlining of the coal industry. The country's coal production was tallied at 4.15 million tons in 2000, 2.83 million tons in 2005, 2.08 million tons in 2010 and 1.76 million tons in 2015.

An official at the corporation said the stockpiles are likely to dwindle down the road as a result of reduced production.

namsh@yna.co.kr
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