Coal prices jump 62pc in Kabul compared to past 12 months

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some residents of capital Kabul have complained about the rising price of coal, saying they are unable to buy it and ask the government to ensure its availability at a reasonable price.

The surge in export of coal to Pakistan, its growing international price and other reasons played a role in taking the coal price to new high.

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on June 28, 2022 said that Afghanistan daily exported coal to Pakistan from 13,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) then said since 2018 the rate of one tonne of exported coal was $90 with additional 20 percent tariff charges but currently the price has surged to $200 and the tariff charge soared by 30 percent.

Mufti EsmatullahBurhan, MoMP spokesperson, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the past government charged 800 to 900 afs royalty on coal export but the Islamic Emirate initially increased the royalty rate to 2,000 and currently the royalty amount had surged up to 4,000 afs keeping in mind the quality of coal.

Coal prices vary in Kabul

Abdul Hakim, a coal seller in the Shaheed Square area of Kabul City, said last month the price of one tonne of high-quality coal was 9,000 afs but currently its rate had surged to 15,000 afs.

According to Abdul Hakim, increased transport fares caused by high fuel rates, increase in royalty on coal, surge in the export of coal to Pakistan were some of the reasons that contributed to the unprecedented surge in the price of coal.

Pajhwok reports show last year in July-August, one litre of petrol was available in the market against 70 afs and one litre of diesel against 67 afs but currently one litre of petrol was sold for 85 afs and one litre of diesel for 97 afs.

Abdul Hakim said a substantial amount of coal was available in Kabul now but its price was high, adding that the surge in the price of coal at the international level also had an impact on coal prices in Afghanistan.

In the international market, the price of one tonne of coal was $157 earlier this year but currently one tonne of coal is sold for $417, showing 2.5 times surge.

According to coal sellers, it is still early for coal price to shoot up as demand for coal increases in November and December when people  purchase coal to heat up their rooms in winter.

Coal sellers said they feared the prices of coal could surge further with the advent of winter.

Amanullah, a resident of fifth Police District’s QambarQuare area, has a coal and fire wood shop from the past five years.

He said this year the price of one tonne of coal surged to 16,500 afs while last year the price of one tonne of coal was 10,000 afsat in this season.

He said: “People are not sound economically, they don’t have money, last year we had a lot of customers, but this year there are less customers because the price of coal has surged.”

He said last year until this time he sold up to 30 tonnes of coal but this year he could only sell eight tonnes of coal.

Ghulam Abbas, a resident of Kabul City’s 16th Police District’s Dasht-i-Barchi area, said last year the price of one tonne of coal was 9,000 afs while currently the same quantity of coal was available at 15,000 afs and most people were unable to buy it.

Syed Habibullah, a resident of Kabul’s Afshar area, complained about the surge in coal price and said they had no money to buy coal.

“I drive a three-wheeler to earn livelihood for my family, I cannot earn a lot of money to buy coal at this high rate. I can’t afford to buy it now and its price could further surge with the arrival of winter. Firewood prices are reasonable but 160 kilograms of fire wood is equal to 80 kilograms of coal when it comes to its price.”

He said: “Coal is going to Pakistan and the Islamic Emirate is doing its business, government should pay attention to the needs of its people to ensure they are in comfort.”

Zabihullah, another resident of Kabul City, said: “Most people, including myself, cannot afford to purchase coal at this rate. We want the Islamic Emirate to chalk out a strategy through which the coal price comes down in the domestic markets so that people could purchase them.”

This matter was shared with the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum but they did not respond.


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