NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 10/19/11 -- Coal stocks have been hammered of late, as slowing US and Chinese economies have led to concern that coal demand may be less robust than initially predicted. A report due out next month from the International Energy Agency may be able to give coal stocks a bump, as the Agency hinted that its demand outlook for coal may have to be revised in lieu of Japan's nuclear crisis, and continued Middle Eastern unrest. The Paragon Report examines the outlook for companies in the coal industry and provides equity research on Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE: PCX) and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
Coal use swings up and down seasonally, and varies from week to week and region to region, depending on electricity demand to run air-conditioners or power heaters. Coal plants produce slightly less than 50 percent of U.S. electricity. Power generation accounts for more than 90 percent of U.S. coal consumption. According to power industry data monitor Genscape, U.S. coal consumption rose 3 percent in the first week of October but was down 6 percent from the same week a year ago.
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The International Energy Agency said earlier this week the demand outlook for coal and natural gas may have to be reassessed as it examines the negative impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa on oil-sector investment.
Drummond Coal Sales president George Wilbanks says Coal demand rose over the past decade as China led growth in Asia and may accelerate to push up export volumes after the potential shock of Fukushima to the previously anticipated role for nuclear power generation.
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