Global coal production growth is expected to slow in 2020 to only 0.5%, from 8.13 billion tonnes in 2019 to 8.17Bt following three consecutive yearly increases, analysis from GlobalData indicates.
The softer outlook is the result of the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with China the worst impacted to date.
Chinese coal output fell about 6% in the first two months of 2020 as workers could not return to mine sites, owing to the prolonged Lunar New Year holidays as well as road blockages and lockdowns to control the outbreak of the virus.
This led to only 57% of China’s coal mines being operational as of February 14. However, by March 4, 83% of China’s coal mining capacity was operational and production is now expected to recover over the remainder of the year with a forecast decline of only 1.2% expected by the year end.
Thermal coal output is expected to grow by 0.5% to 7.05Bt, while metallurgical coal production is forecast to be flat at 1.1Bt.
Over the next four years, thermal coal production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 1.9% to reach 7.6Bt by 2023, due to increasing demand from India and China…Full Story