REUTERS Stocks of coal at Ukrainian thermal power plants (TPPs) shrank by 6% on January 17-24, 2018, to 1.611 million tonnes. At the same time, anthracite reserves decreased by 8.6%, from 784,000 tonnes to 716,600 tonnes, according to the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry&#39;s press service. Meanwhile, gas grade coal stocks were down 3.8%, from 929,600 tonnes to 894,000 tonnes. Read alsoRussian proxies in Donbas aided by Italian nationalist attempting to sell coal to Africa - NGOAs UNIAN reported earlier, production of thermal and coking coal in Ukraine declined by 14.6% in 2017 against 2016, to 34.916 million tonnes, according to the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry. UNIAN memo. Hostilities in the eastern regions of Ukraine have caused a significant shortage of coal, primarily that of thermal anthracite group produced in militant-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Read alsoRussia’s major coal supplier off Ukraine’s sanctions listThe energy companies began to transfer the thermal power plants&#39; units from anthracite to gas coal feeding. However, there has been a shortage of the latter since the output of gas coal did not keep pace with its consumption growth. To solve the problem, the companies signed contracts for coal imports from South Africa and the United States.