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16% Decrease Forecast in Poland's Exports of Coal

December 02, 1985|Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland — Coal output, one of Poland's major foreign-currency earners, will slightly exceed the 1984 level of 191.5 million tons but exports will drop 16 percent because of the severe winter, the government said Monday.

Eugeniusz Ciszak, deputy minister of mining and power, told a Warsaw news conference that coal exports for 1985 would total 36 million tons compared with 43 million tons last year.

By the end of November, miners had extracted 177.1 million tons of coal, of which 33.5 million tons were for export, Ciszak said.

The sharp drop in exports means Poland might relinquish its position as the world's third-largest exporter of coal behind the United States and Australia, Ciszak said.

Last year, Poland earned about $1.25 billion, nearly 25 percent of its foreign currency earnings, from coal sales to Western countries, official statistics show. Poland depends on coal exports to help meet payments on its $29.2 billion foreign debt.

This year, coal exports to Western countries would total 23 million tons compared with 29 million tons in 1984, a 20 percent decline, Ciszak said. Coal exports to socialist countries would fall from 14 million tons last year to 13 million tons in 1985, a 7 percent drop, he said.

Ciszak attributed the reduction to the severe 1984-85 winter season, which he said caused a sharp increase in demand by Polish consumers.

He said coal production would rise by less than 100,000 tons to 191.6 million tons in 1985, but gave no explanation for why miners have not been able to increase the output.

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