Thermal coal demand is, however, expected to rise in the US, despite the fact that its share within the US energy mix has fallen for the last three years. A report released in October by the US Energy Information Administration pegs the reverse in coal use on a forecast rise in natural gas prices after record-low prices have kept new gas projects from breaking ground.But that very same gas-coal relationship is expected to drive US domestic coal consumption down sharply in the coming years, from 697 Mt annually in 2011 to 600 Mt in 2017, the International Energy Agency predicted in its (IEA) medium-term coal market report last month. The same IEA report also notes that China's growing coal imports are expected to top 300 Mt in the next five years.
Securities Disclosure: I, James Wellstead, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. Related reading: Chinese Growth Welcome News for Coal Producers Chinese Market Reforms Impact Coal Markets from Coal Investing News