The salient question for the North American coal market is whether or not 2015 was the bottom. Is there any upside for domestic demand in 2016? Coal prices and demand will remain tightly tied to natural gas prices. Stockpile levels at coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs) are at seven year highs, however 50.4 GW of coal-fired EGU have retired since 2010 and an additional 12.7 GW will retire this year. Above normal stockpiles, spread across fewer EGUs are likely to limit coal purchases by select EGUs until stockpile levels return to more normal levels sometime in 2017. However, continued drops in coal and natural gas production could be paving the way for a rebound for the US coal prices in 2017 as mine capacity decreases and demand increases.
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Insight | Jan 2016
North American coal markets: what to look for in 2016
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