Global Coal Production Up 4%

Global coal production increased about 4% in 2021, to about 8 billion metric tons, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and estimates by Arch Resources.

For background: Coal is mined globally using various surface and underground recovery methods.

Above all, coal is used for the production of steel and the generation of electrical energy, but it is also used for certain industrial processes, such as the production of cement.

Coal is a commodity that is traded globally and can be transported to centers of demand by oceangoing ships, barges, rail, trucks, or conveyor belts.

In 2021, global coal production recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic-related supply and demand disruptions experienced in 2020.

Arch Resources states that an expansionary economic environment supported coal fundamentals in 2021.

Despite year-over-year growth, 2021 global coal production is likely to fall short of 2019 levels.


China is the world’s largest coal producer, accounting for around 50% of total production.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, China produced more than 4 billion metric tons of coal in 2021.

Other major coal-producing countries include India, Indonesia, the United States, Australia, and Russia.

In 2021, United States coal production increased about 8%, to 525 million metric tons, after declining more than 24% in 2020, to 486 million metric tons, mainly due to lower demand for power generation and moderate exports.

US coal production has roughly halved in the past decade as demand for coal-fired generation has continued to decline.

Arch Resources is one of the world’s largest coal producers and a leading producer of metallurgical coal.

For the year ended December 31, 2021, the company sold approximately 73 million tons of coal, including approximately 0.2 million tons of coal that it purchased from third parties.

It sells substantially all of its coal to steel mills, power plants, and industrial facilities.

As of year-end 2021, the company operated 7 active mines located in three of the major coal-producing regions of the United States.


Redacción Opportimes

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