A young child is breaking coal with two other kids at his back. [Photo: Archive]

Kabul, Afghanistan – While majority of the European countries continue to struggle with a rise on fuel prices since beginning of the war in Ukraine, Kabul witnesses a “significant” hike on its coal exports to the nearby country.

Coal exports to neighboring Pakistan have increased significantly comparing last year amidst a rise in fuel prices in the international market, said the Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines (ACIM) on Tuesday. 

According to ACIM members, the increase in coal exports to Pakistan is due to a rising coal value in local markets, triggering overwhelming concern for factory owners in the country.

While the increase on coal export seems promising as far as trade is concern, majority predicts an unprecedent price hike within the local market that could cost resident a lot more money than it did a few months ago.  

“Rising fuel prices in world markets have significantly increased the exports of Afghanistan’s coal to Pakistan in the last three to four months,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, head of the Chamber of Industries and Mines, as TOLOnews quoted. 

Comparing last year’s average coal price per ton, local business owners called it a “significant” hike, showing an increase of about 6,000Afs ($67) for the same amount of coal. 

“Based on the contract, all of Afghanistan’s coal is sent to Pakistan, that is why the coal prices have increased in the country,” said Jalil, a local coal seller.

“The only reason for the rise in coal prices is that our country’s coal is exported to Pakistan, and that is the only problems,” said Shapour, another local coal seller.

This came at a time fuel prices increased in Europe, including a number of southeast Asian countries, where Pakistan bid to provide its necessary energy from Afghanistan’s coal – a natural resources the country has in abundant. 

“At a time when fuel and liquefied natural gas prices have risen in the world, Pakistan is trying to provide its required energy from Afghanistan’s coal, therefore, it is importing coal from Afghanistan,” said Tariq Farhadi, an analyst, as local media quoted. 

Coal in Afghanistan is one of its largest natural resources, where most of its mines are located in northern provinces, including Badakhshan, Takhar, Kuduz, Baghlan, Samangan, Balk, and Sar-e-Pul; as well as in central provinces, including Bamyan, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Badghis and Herat. 

Indigenous coal has been used in Afghanistan for small industry (notably in the manufacturing of cement and textiles, and in food processing), and as a primary source of household fuel in both raw and briquetted forms.

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