Chinese demand for coal is cooling

|By:, SA News Editor

As if coal companies (KOL) don't face enough problems in the U.S., China's once seemingly unlimited appetite for coal appears to be cooling.

Economic growth in China is slowing, and rising public anger over air pollution is increasing pressure on utilities running the country's coal-burning power plants to shift to nuclear power and natural gas.

Compounding the issue for U.S. miners is that China's own coal industry is improving; China sits on trillions of tons of coal reserves, so domestic mines should meet most of the country's demand for thermal coal as long as prices remain low and transportation costs affordable.

There is already too much coal on the market, so China’s moves to cut down its “energy intensity” will hurt miners: ANR +0.8%, ACI -1.2%, WLT -0.1%, BTU +0.5%, CLD -0.6%, JRCC -1.4%, CNX -0.7%, RNO -1.2%.