Steam Coal Market: Overview

Steam coal is a thermal coal primarily used for electric power production and heat generation. It is used as a fine powder and fired into boilers in power plants to run steam turbines, as it burns quickly at high temperature. Steam coal is also employed during calcination operation in cement manufacturing. It has high moisture content, low ash content, and less than 1% of sulfur

Steam Coal Market: Key Segments

The global steam coal market can be segmented based on calorific value and volatility. Based on calorific value, the market can be bifurcated into low calorific range with calorific value between 5,500 kcal/kg and 6,000 kcal/kg, and high calorific range between 6,100 kcal/kg and 6,700 kcal/kg. Based on volatility, the market can be segregated into high volatile coal, medium volatile coal, and low volatile coal.

Steam Coal Market: Trends & Demands

Coal plays a vital role in electricity generation across the globe. Approximately 37% of the global electricity is generated through coal power plants. Steam coal has high surface area and burns quickly at high temperature to produce up to 400,000 volts of electricity. Rise in requirement of large amount of energy for the production of cement for the building & construction industry is boosting the demand for steam coal across the globe. These factors are acting as driving forces of the global steam coal market. Advent of new technologies and environmental concerns regarding usage of non-renewable sources are expected to hamper the demand for steam coal in the energy sector in the near future. Increase in preference of renewable energy sources of power generation in various countries such as the U.S. and Germany is also estimated to restrain the steam coal market during the forecast period. However, upcoming technologies such as carbon storage/sequestration and coal liquefaction & gasification are projected to provide lucrative opportunities to players operating in the steam coal market.

Steam Coal Market: Regional Outlook

In terms of region, the global steam coal market can be segregated into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is the leading consumer of steam coal, followed by Europe and North America. Indonesia, Australia, and Russia & CIS are some of the major exporters of steam coal across the globe. In terms of generation of electricity, Asia Pacific accounts for approximately 70% share of the global steam coal market. The market in China and India in Asia Pacific is likely to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period, due to the rise in demand for steam coal for thermal and hydro power generation. India is expected to become key country in terms of steam coal consumption. This can primarily be ascribed to the increase in government efforts to provide 100% electricity to the rural population by 2020. Demand for steam coal in Japan and South Korea is anticipated to rise significantly during the forecast period. Japan and South Korea plan to add 40 and 20 power plants, respectively, over the next 10 years. This is estimated to boost the steam coal market during the forecast period. In Europe, Poland utilizes 90%, while the Czech Republic utilizes around 52% of the steam coal for generation of electricity. Poland and the Czech Republic are part of Rest of Europe. This is projected to propel the steam coal market in Europe. The market in Middle East & Africa and Latin America is anticipated to expand at a modest pace during the forecast period. Rise in industrialization, urbanization, and consumer purchasing parity is positively impacting the influencing steam coal market in Middle East & Africa and Latin America.

Steam Coal Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the global steam coal market are China Shenhua Energy Company Limited, Sasol Limited, Coal India Limited, Peabody Energy Corporation, and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.

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