China’s Demand For Coal Continues To Grow

An article in the Wall Street Journal today discusses about China’s voracious demand for  coal. A couple of important points from this article:

  • In March coal imports jumped 165% from March 2009
  • As the country’s power generation capacity is projected to increase by 10% this year, the demand for thermal coal would rise
  • In the first quarter coal imports jumped by 226% from a year earlier

The top five coal producing countries are: China, USA, India, Australia and South Africa. Most of the coal produced is used in the country of production. For example, the US uses most of the coal mined domestically since coal is the main source of fuel for power generation in the country.

The five largest coal users are China, USA, India, Japan and Russia. Asia alone accounts for 56% of global coal consumption. In addition to being used as a source for power generation, coal is also used in cement making and the steel industry. (Source: World Coal Institute).

Some of the major U.S. coal producing companies are: Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU), Consol Energy Inc. (CNX),  Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR), Arch Coal Inc. (ACI), Walter Energy (WLT) and Massey Energy Co. (MEE). Peabody energy is the world’s largest coal producer. Coal stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange can be found here. Some of the coal ETFs available are Market Vectors-Coal ETF (KOL) and PowerShares Global Coal Portfolio ETF (PKOL).

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