NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 12/16/11 -- Coal demand is expected to be strong in the coming years despite calls for intensified efforts to remove carbon from the energy system. According to the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) inaugural 'Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2011' global coal demand will continue to expand "aggressively" over the coming five years. "For all of the talk about removing carbon from the energy system, the IEA projects average coal demand to grow by 600,000 tonnes every day over the next five years," Maria van der Hoeven, IEA executive director, said. The Bedford 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:
The IEA report states that the increase in demand would be driven by growing power generation in emerging economies, especially China and India, and would place upward pressure on mining costs and coal prices.
The outlook for coal remains uncertain as the IEA said Chinese Coal imports could either jump to 180m tonnes by 2016 from 92m tonnes in 2010, or fall to 39m tonnes, depending on the path of local production. Nonetheless, the IEA anticipates strong prices.
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The IEA cautioned that the infrastructure bottlenecks experienced in recent years, which had caused coal prices to skyrocket, could again place pressure on markets and prices. The IEA believes this could test the traditional view of coal as a cheap energy resource.
Presently Indonesia, Australia, Russia, South Africa and Colombia account for more than 80% of global coal exports. While there is a rise of growing exporting countries, the IEA says that traditional exporters were expected to meet the bulk of the demand growth.
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