NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/04/11 -- As the economy continues its journey towards recovery, demand for continues to skyrocket. Emerging markets -- particularly China and India -- have played a critical role in coals resurgence, while the devastating floods in Queensland Australia earlier this year has put a premium put on North American and U.S. met coal production. In addition, higher oil prices have pushed coal's price up as coal can be used as an alternative for electricity generation. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Coal Industry and provides research reports on International Coal Group, Inc. (NYSE: ICO) and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, said the U.S. serves as a swing coal supplier to the world market. Popovich explains: "When Queensland flooding and China's rapid cost-recession recovery created a spike in demand to feed China's coal demand, our exports spiked up."
Popovich added that China is a "big factor." Indeed an official with the China's coal association said late last year that the country's demand for coal will continue to increase in the next five years and is expected to reach 3.8 billion tonnes in 2015.
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The US Energy Department echoed Popovich's claims. Due to the Queensland flooding, the Energy Department believes shipments from the US are poised to rise almost nine percent this year to about 86.5 million tons -- the most since 1996.
In recent industry news, Alpha Natural Resources has proposed to merge with Massey Energy Co. to make it the third largest metallurgical coal producer in the world.
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