Coal market in Europe

Coal market in Europe

In 2019, Poland and Germany together accounted for over 60% of the total hard coal consumption in the European Union, followed by France and the Netherlands.

We invite you to read the following market overview, which shows what the coal market in Europe looks like today, who the market leaders are and what trends are influencing the development of the market.

Coal consumption and production

Although coal consumption has decreased in most European countries, new coal-fired power plants are still being built and planned.

Research and Markets data shows that coal consumption in Europe fell by 9.05% to 14.98 exajoules in 2019 from 16.54 exajoules in 2018. At the same time, coal production in this region decreased by 4.78% to 15.72 exajoules in 2019 from 16.51 exajoules in 2018. The decline in consumption and production is expected to reduce the coal market in Europe significantly.

New coal mines

In 2019, Germany was the largest user of coal in the European Union. In June 2020, the country launched the Datteln-4 power plant with a capacity of 1100 MW, which already provides the country with cheap electricity. In the case of Poland, in 2019, the Bzie-Dębina mine, which belongs to Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, was opened. Mining will be launched there in 2022, and the resources in these deposits are estimated at over 180 million tons of coal, while 95% of resources are coking coal.

Coal import

Coal mining has long been a key industry in Russia, and production costs here are among the lowest in the world. Combined with the high transport expenditures, mainly railroads, these factors make the final price of Russian coal almost comparable to the prices offered by some of Russia’s main global competitors, such as Australia and South Africa. However, countries close to the Siberian region, such as China and South Korea, are the largest coal importers due to their low transport costs.

According to Eurostat data, coal imports in the European Union dropped to almost 5.5 million tons in January 2020 from 5.7 million tons in January 2019. Together with Great Britain, imports reached 5.7 million tons compared to 6.1 million tons in January 2020.

Leaders in the coal market in Europe

The key players on the European coal market include Suek AG (Russia), UK Kuzbassrazrezugol OAO (Russia), Mitteldeutsche Braunkohlengesellschaft mbH / MIBRAG (Germany), Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka SA (Poland) and Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa SA (Poland).

Trends affecting the coal market in Europe

Based on Research and Markets data, it can be concluded that the electricity sector will dominate the market in the coming years due to growing investments in this sector. Forecasts indicate that Russia will be the largest coal user in the coming years due to the increase in investment in the mining sector and the highest coal consumption and production in this region of Europe.

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Author: Dominika Będkowska


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