Commodities : Coal
Coal demand :
The coal is in the category of energy. It has several uses:
- The thermal power plants: Coal is used to create electricity
- The metallurgical industry: Coal allows the manufacture of iron and steel
- The pharmaceutical industry: Coal is found in aspirin, detergents, herbicides ..
- Plastics: Once distilled, coal allows the manufacture of plastics (acrylic, resin ..) and synthetic textiles (polyester, nylon ..)
- Various: Coal is used in explosives, fertilizer and varnishes
Coal consumption is increasing and does not know the crisis. Indeed, between 2002 and 2008, global consumption has increased of 37% to over 3 300 000 million tons. The share of coal in fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) is now greater than 33%, behind oil 40% and in front of gas with 27%. This continued increase in demand is particularly due to the development of transition economies such as China. China is the biggest consumer of coal in the world with 43% of world production.
Coal Supply :
It may be noted that China, the main consumer is also the main producer. In 2007, the world coal trade reached 600 million tons for a world production of 6 400 000 tons. The main part of the production is consumed in the country of production.
Coal Evolution :
Experts estimate the coal reserves at 910 billion tons, which would meet the needs of the planet for 150 years to come, against 42 years for oil and 60 years for natural gas. These reserves are pretty well distributed over the planet: the United States (27%), Russia (17%), China (13%) and India (10%) possess larger quantities.
The price of coal has remained relatively stable in contrast to other fossil fuels. In addition, technological advances will further reduce costs and thus stabilize prices in the face of a growing demand.