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According to a report published today by the IEA, global coal consumption will increase modestly in 2022, returning to the record level of nearly a decade ago. The IEA points out that the outlook for coal is fraught with uncertainty due to decelerating economic growth and turmoil in energy markets.
Global coal consumption is expected to increase 0.7% to 8 billion tons in 2022 assuming the Chinese economy recovers as expected in the second half of the year, according to the IEA’s July 2022 Coal Market Update. Ending the year, this overall global volume would equal the 2013 annual record, and coal demand is expected to continue to rise to a new all-time high next year.
In 2021, global coal consumption increased by about 6% as the global economy recovered quickly from the initial shock of the Covid pandemic. Global coal demand this year has been affected by rising natural gas prices, which have led to an increased switch from gas to coal in many countries, and by rising demand in India. The factors are partially counteracted by slower economic growth in China as well as the difficulty of some major coal producers to ramp up their production.