NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 6, 2013) - 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 Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE: CLD) and Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WLT).
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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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Cloud Peak Energy specializes in the production of low sulfur, subbituminous coal. The company also owns rights to substantial undeveloped coal and complimentary surface assets in the Northern PRB, further building the company's long-term position to serve Asian export and domestic customers. The company is scheduled to release results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 after market close on Wednesday, February 13th.
Walter Energy is the world's leading, publicly traded "pure-play" metallurgical coal producer for the global steel industry with strategic access to high-growth steel markets in Asia, South America and Europe. The company produced a total of 11.7 million metric tons of met coal in 2012, a year-over-year increase of 34 percent.
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