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Alternative Energy Regulation and the Covid-19 Pandemic Restrict Global Coal Market Growth


Alternative Energy Regulation and the Covid-19 Pandemic Restrict Global Coal Market Growth

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Coal – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2020, the decline in the global coal market gathered momentum, against the Covid-19 pandemic. The low cost of natural gas, combined with the development of alternative energy sources and stricter environmental regulations, are pushing the coal energy sector into stagnation. In the medium term, only the metallurgical industry is set to see stable demand for coal.

Key Trends and Insights

Since 2019, global coal consumption has been in decline, against poor growth in the demand for electricity, low natural gas prices and the enhanced use of alternative sources of energy. Data released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicated that, in 2019, coal-fired power production fell in the European Union by 23%, and in the USA by 17%.

In 2020, the European Union (-19%, -111 Мт) and the USA (-14%, -87 Mt), saw a significant decline in coal-fired power production. This was conditioned by the new ‘Green Deal’ aimed at the strategic reduction of carbon emissions.

In 2020, increased coal-fired electricity production was recorded only in China and ASEAN, where coal total consumption saw a growth of approx. 1.2%.

Global coal demand is set to decrease further by 2025, hampered by the new climate regulation initiatives, particularly, in the EU. Even the anticipated expansion of the coal sector in India could not alone shape the global demand for coal. China is reaching a plateau in terms of coal consumption and several countries committed to reduce coal consumption (Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Egypt) in 2020.

The global consumption of metallurgical coal also fell by 3.2% in 2020, as a result of the decline in global steel production. Should the Covid-19 restrictions be completely lifted in 2021, alloy production is expected to recover, which is set to restore demand for coal.

China Remains the Largest Coal Consuming Country

China (4,570M tonnes) remains the largest coal-consuming country worldwide, accounting for 39% of total volume. Moreover, coal consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, India (1,053M tonnes), fourfold. The U.S. (644M tonnes) ranked third in terms of total consumption with a 5.5% share (IndexBox estimates).

From 2012 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of volume in China stood at -1.1%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: India (+5.5% per year) and the U.S. (-4.8% per year).

In value terms, China ($483.6B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by India ($145B). It was followed by the U.S.

The countries with the highest levels of coal per capita consumption in 2019 were South Africa (3.89 tonne per person), China (3.13 tonne per person) and Russia (3 tonne per person).

From 2012 to 2019, the biggest increases were in India, while coal per capita consumption for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

China (282M tonnes), India (241M tonnes), Japan (183M tonnes) and South Korea (141M tonnes) represented roughly 62% of total imports of coal in 2019. It was distantly followed by Taiwan (Chinese) (67M tonnes), mixing up a 4.9% share of total imports. Malaysia (38M tonnes), Turkey (30M tonnes), the Philippines (30M tonnes), Germany (29M tonnes), Viet Nam (25M tonnes), Thailand (24M tonnes), Russia (22M tonnes) and Brazil (21M tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

In value terms, China ($24.6B), Japan ($19.3B) and India ($17.3B) constituted the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2019, together accounting for 51% of global imports. South Korea, Taiwan (Chinese), Brazil, Malaysia, Germany, Turkey, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Thailand and Russia lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 31% (IndexBox estimates).

Driven by rising demand for coal worldwide, the market is expected to start an upward consumption trend over the next decade. The performance of the market is forecast to increase slightly, with an anticipated CAGR of +1.4% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 13,602M tonnes by the end of 2030.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform