Reportedly, coal is still the main fuel in the rapidly developing economies of Southeast Asia, even in the middle of a general international shift toward cleaner energy resources, statistics from latest reports showed. Jacqueline Tao—Research Associate from a commodity consultancy Wood Mackenzie—said, “The coal has been gloomy in the world. This will outcome in the gradual decline of new coal-fired ability in Southeast Asia. Nonetheless, the reality of increasing power demand and availability issues in the region show that we would only begin to see coal’s declining power after 2030.” According to Wood Mackenzie, “Coal is still the king in Southeast Asia’s powerful market.”
Owing to pollution concerns, the coal industry has been dealing with widespread criticism from environmental activists. But international coal demand increased consecutively for a second year to attain 0.7% in 2018, information from the IEA (International Energy Agency) showed. In its report that was published in December, the IEA estimated coal usage through 2023 will be steady as strong consumption growth in India and Southeast Asia offsets diminishing use in North America and Europe. The IEA stated, “The coal demand in most of the Asia region grew owing to its availability and affordability.”
On a related note, analysts stated that more US metallurgical coal can exit the market. Mark Levin and Nathan Martin—Analysts at Seaport Global equity—said that owing to weak demand and low prices, “it is just a question of time before more coal production exits the market.” Levin asserted there is a severe fight amongst the U.S. and Australian manufacturers to move met coal, but costs are at “levels where we anticipate seeing output coming offline. Reportedly, Seaport Global projected US met coal production to sum up 73.3 million st (2020), which is down from its estimation of 75.5 million st (2019) and 79.8 million st (2018).