Coal Market Definition
The coal market consists of sales of bituminous and sub-bituminous coal, lignite and anthracite coal by entities (organizations, sole traders and partnerships) that mine bituminous, sub-bituminous, lignite and anthracite coal by underground mining, strip mining, culm bank mining, and other surface mining techniques. Companies in the coal industry are also involved in the development of coal mine sites, and improvement of coal, including cleaning, washing, screening and sizing of coal.
Coal Market Size
The global coal market reached a value of nearly $366.7 billion in 2018, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -11.7% since 2014.
Growth in the historic period resulted from the increased demand for coal power generation, presence of large coal reserves globally and technological advances in power generation that increased the efficiency of coal power plants. Factors that negatively affected growth in the historic period were a shift to alternative sources of energy such as natural gas and renewables, coal price volatility that interrupted procurement plans of coal end users, and a number of fatal accidents at coal mines.
Going forward, a growing share of coal in power generation mainly in developing countries, government policies providing subsidies and encouraging foreign direct investments, economic growth in emerging markets and changes in government policies favoring the mining industry will drive growth. Factors that could hinder the growth of the coal market in the future include a continuous shift to alternative sources for power generation, environmental impacts of coal, skills shortages in the coal mining industry and the mining industry overall, and reductions in free trade.
Coal Market Drivers
The key drivers of the coal market include:
Growth In Coal Power Generation
During the historic period, growth in coal power generation drove the coal market. This was mainly due to the increased demand for electricity, and increased use of coal in power generation in countries such as China and India. Global coal power generation grew by 3% during 2016-2017. India saw the largest annual demand growth, reaching 3.9%. Coal remains the major energy source for electricity production globally, and about two-thirds of global coal consumption is for electricity production. The global coal consumption for electricity generation grew at an annual rate of 2.8% during 2000-2017. Countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and Turkey were the largest coal consumers for electricity generation. The increased demand for power generation supported the demand for coal.
Coal Market Restraints
The key restraints on the coal market include:
Environmental Impacts Of Coal
Negative environmental impacts of coal will push coal end users to shift to alternative sources going forward. Coal-fired power plants are the largest individual sources of climate pollution. They are globally responsible for more than 70% of CO2 emissions in the power generation industry; this is expected to restrain the growth of coal mines. Coal burning also leads to death of about 3.5 million people annually from air pollution. According to the IMF, global coal’s combined external costs and damages to health, land, water and nature are estimated at about EUR 3 trillion ($3.3 trillion) annually, which is equivalent to 4% of global GDP. The environmental impacts of coal will act as a restraint on the coal market.
Coal Market Trends
Major trends influencing the coal market include:
X-Ray Diffraction In Mining
X-ray diffraction (XRD) process is increasingly being used by coal mining companies to efficiently identify and analyze the particulate materials, clays and other elements in the mineral. X-ray diffraction is a non-destructive process of scattering X-rays by the atoms of a mineral, which makes an interference effect and diffraction pattern that lays out information about the identity and structure of the substance. Coal mining companies use X-ray powder diffraction for quick identification process that takes less than 30 minutes, in comparison to other methods such as optical microscopy, scanning, and quantitative evaluation of scanning. Additionally, companies in this industry are using Rietveld (RIR) analysis to gather quantitative XRD data to boost the information collection and identification process. The technique also enables cost and time savings, as it requires minimal sample preparation and rapid identification. Major players in the market including Coal India Limited (CIL) and Shenhua Group are using XDR technique and are innovating it to expand its benefits.
Use Of High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) Coal Technologies
High efficiency low emissions (HELE) technologies are a group of diverse technologies developed to increase the efficiencies of coal-fired power plants, and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as non-GHG emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM). HELE technologies are critical to achieving global climate goals and sustainable development. HELE coal technologies are operating throughout the world and being deployed commercially in Germany, Italy, India, South Korea, Japan, Poland, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the USA, Australia, South Africa and China.
Opportunities And Recommendations In The Coal Market
Opportunities – The top opportunities in the coal market by type of coal will arise in the sub-bituminous coal segment which will gain $0.53 billion of global annual sales by 2022. The coal market will gain the most in India at $12.30 billion.
Market-trend-based strategies for the coal market include adopting innovative technologies such as automated temporary roof support (ATRS) and mobile roof support (MRS) to prevent mining accidents, using 3D mine visualizers to identify difficult terrains, investing in big data analytics to improve performance, adopting open-pit mining methods to extract coal in a safe and cost-effective manner, and using underground coal gasification process to produce syngas in an environmentally friendly manner. Player-adopted strategies in the coal industry include developing and acquiring coal mining projects through sustainable investments, collaborating with state governments and railways to link the coal fields with rail lines to speed up coal evacuation, and carrying out coal exploration activities in new regions.
Recommendations – To take advantage of these opportunities, The Business Research Company recommends the coal mining companies to focus on using clean coal technologies, adopting sensor-based sorting, investing in emerging markets, using e-auctions, and focusing on fast-growing end-use industries.
Coal Market Segmentation
The coal market is segmented by type of coal, by end-use industry and by geography.
By Type Of Coal-
The coal market is segmented by type of coal
The bituminous coal market was the largest segment of the coal market by type of coal in 2018 at 62.6%. The sub-bituminous market will be the fastest-growing segment going forward at a CAGR of 0.2%.
- a) Bituminous Coal
- b) Sub-Bituminous Coal
- c) Anthracite
- d) Lignite
By End-Use -
The coal market is segmented by end-use
- a) Electricity
- b) Steel
- c) Cement
- d) Others
By Geography - The coal market is segmented into
Asia Pacific was the largest market for coal, accounting for 76.7% of the global market in 2018. It was followed by North America, Africa and then the other regions. Going forward, the fastest growing regions in the coal market will be Middle East and Eastern Europe.
- o North America
- o Western Europe
- o Asia Pacific
- o Eastern Europe
- o South America
- o Middle East
- o Africa
Coal Competitive Landscape
Major Competitors are:
Other Competitors Include:
- • China Shenhua Energy Company Limited
- • Coal India Limited
- • China Coal Energy Co., Ltd.
- • Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited
- • BHP
- • Anglo American plc
- • Peabody Energy Corporation
- • Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Co., Ltd.
- • PT Adaro Energy Tbk
- • Rio Tinto Group
- • Banpu Public Company Ltd.
- • Arch Coal, Inc.
- • Consol Energy
- • Datong Coal
- • Vale SA
- • Cloud Peak Energy Inc.
- • Teck Resources
- • Contura Energy Inc.
- • Arch Coal
- • Murray Energy Corp
- • Contura Energy Inc.
- • Peabody Energy Corp
- • Glencore
- • UK Coal Surface Mines Limited
- • Anglo American plc.
- • China Coal Energy Company Limited
- • Mitsubishi Corporation
- • China Shenhua Energy Company Limited
- • Coal India Limited
- • Sumitomo Metal Mining
- • Zijin Mining Group Company Limited
- • China Northern Rare Earth Group High-Tech Co. Ltd.
- • Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd
- • Mitsui Coal Holding
- • SUEK
- • Russian Coal Group
- • Kompania Weglowa
- • New World Resources
- • Vale
- • Camaro
- • Eastern Alborz Coal Company
- • Central Alborz Coal Company
- • Canyon Coal
- • Ichor Coal
- • Eta-Zuma Group Ltd.