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 Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR) and Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU).
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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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Alpha Natural Resources produces, processes and sells steam and metallurgical coal from approximately 150 active mines and 40 coal preparation plants located throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. In 2011, the company had more than 200 customers on five continents. Alpha is scheduled to release results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 before market open on Thursday, February 14th.
Peabody Energy serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in more than 25 countries on six continents. "Turning to 2013, recent data suggests that China's economic growth is again accelerating, and we have seen some rebound in global coal prices, while European and U.S. economies are likely to remain sluggish." commented Peabody's Chairman and CEO Gregory H. Boyce.
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