NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/07/13 -- Despite a steep drop in domestic demand the outlook for the coal industry remains positive as foreign demand continues to grow. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently reported that China coal consumption is nearly equal to the rest of the world combined. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Coal Industry and provides equity research on CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) and Natural Resource Partners LP (NYSE: NRP).
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The EIA reported that China's coal consumption increased 9 percent to 3.8 billion metric tons in 2011, which was its 12th consecutive yearly increase. China now accounts for approximately 47 percent of global coal consumption. The EIA has stated that China has accounted for 82 percent of the growth in coal demand since 2000. According the International Energy Agency, China was not only the largest coal producer in 2011, accounting for roughly 46 percent of global production, but also the largest importer, importing approximately 177 million metric tons in 2011.
"[There are] enhanced opportunities for exports of American coal to China to feed some of that demand," says Heath Knakmuhs, senior director of policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute. "While China does have significant internal coal resources they're often far away from load centers. It does provide an opportunity for American coal suppliers -- especially those located in the western U.S. to export enhanced amounts to China."
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CONSOL Energy is one of the leading diversified energy companies in the United States of America. The company operates 18 mining complexes throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. Their premium Appalachian coals are sold worldwide to electricity generators and steelmakers. For 2013, CONSOL Energy expects 5 to 10 million tons of its coal, across all sales categories, will be exported.
Natural Resource Partners primarily owns coal, aggregate and oil and gas reserves across the United States. The company leases its properties to coal mine operators in exchange for royalty payments. As of December 31, 2011, the company owned or controlled approximately 2.3 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves.
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