Comparative review

Investors may remember 2012 as the year coal went from being one of the hottest commodities in the world to one of the most maligned. There have been two main reasons behind the change. Firstly, high prices have encouraged new supply. From Mozambique to Mongolia, giant new coal fields are being developed, dampening prices. Secondly, the explosion of shale gas from North America has changed the way the US produces electricity with gas displacing coal as a generation fuel. American coal has thus joined the stampede of supply. For long time subscribers, none of this is news. We’ve been...

Investors may remember 2012 as the year coal went from being one of the hottest commodities in the world to one of the most maligned. There have been two main reasons behind the change. Firstly, high prices have encouraged new supply. From Mozambique to Mongolia, giant new coal fields are being developed, dampening prices. Secondly, the explosion of shale gas from North America has changed the way the US produces electricity with gas displacing coal as a generation fuel. American coal has thus joined the stampede of supply. For long time subscribers, none of this is news. We’ve been warning of lower coal prices for some time, most recently in Coal: a dark future ahead on 11 Jul 12.

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