As per industry analysts, coal miners are set to gain from the growing safety concerns over nuclear energy in major European countries. As the prospects of nuclear-powered electricity generation diminish, coal and natural gas will emerge strong viable alternatives.
Coal miners like Consol Energy, Alpha Natural Resources (ANR - Get Report), Patriot Coal (PCX) and Arch Coal (ACI - Get Report) export from the East Coast facilities. These companies now have the opportunity to fill the supply gap as traditional suppliers from Europe, South Africa, Russia and Colombia have redirected shipments to Asia to leverage the robust demand arising there.
Metallurgical coal constitutes a major portion of Japan's 101-107 million tonnes in total coal imports. Japan, the world's top coal importer, generates almost 25% of its power from coal. With most Australian mines remaining non-functional after the recent flooding, an industry official comments that post earthquake demand from Japan will boost the coal industry, benefiting miners and producers worldwide. The Economic Ministry of South Korea estimates coal demand in Japan at about 200,000 tonnes per day.