NMA mid-year forecast projects record coal demand in 2008

“Demand for US coal will reach a new record in 2008 despite a lagging domestic economy,” National Mining Association (NMA) President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz saidĀ upon release of the NMA’s mid-year forecast for coal demand and production. “Throughout 2008, coal will continue to supply 50% of the electricity generated for America’s power grid. Coal exports are on the rise thanks to robust growth in overseas demand,” Naasz added. An estimated 72 Mt – 14 Mt more than projected in January-are expected to be exported in 2008. Total demand for US coal is expected to reach 1,105 Mt in 2008, surpassing the previous record established in 2006 when total demand (domestic consumption and exports) reached 1,090 Mt of coal. The projected demand will be met by expanded production in Western coal fields, with production from Eastern coal states remaining unchanged from January’s projections and imports declining somewhat to an estimated 29 Mt.

NMA’s forecast for coal is based on projections reported by the association’s member companies. The mid-year analysis was conducted to account for the potential impacts of a slowing U.S. economy and growing global demand for coal. “Our forecast reflects the powerful underlying conditions that continue to drive demand for US coal including its relative affordability, domestic abundance and reliability as a provider of electricity. Further, metallurgical coal remains a vital component of the infrastructure development that is underway in rapidly developing countries around the globe,” continued Naasz.

“Record demand for US coal is good news for the roughly 525,000 American’s who rely on coal for high-wage jobs and benefits in mining and with companies that make mining equipment and provide valuable services to US coal producers. At a time when so many consumers are concerned about their economic well-being and rising energy prices, coal remains a true American success story,” Naasz emphasised.