— GreensMPs (@GreensMPs) September 30, 2015
Just before Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale spoke at the National Press Club yesterday, the federal government’s Office of the Chief Economist released the September 2015 edition of its Resources and Energy Quarterly publication.
The document collates important mining and energy statistics and is an interesting snapshot of the strength of the industry and developments in overseas markets.
While Di Natale were pushing the line that the coal industry was “on the way out”, the REQ contained a number of inconvenient truths including:
- World steel consumption is forecast to increase to 1.6 billion tonnes in 2015 and to 1.74 billion tonnes in 2020
- The world trade in metallurgical coal (the type of coal used to make steel) is expected to increase to 330 million tonnes in 2020 with Australian exports to increase to 213 million tonnes in 2020
- While the US and Europe have signaled an intention to phase out the use of thermal coal for electricity, this will be more than offset by increased use in emerging economies.
- There is around 350 gigawatts of new coal-fired generation capacity either under construction or approved in non-OECD countries.
- The world trade in thermal coal is projected to increase to 1,180 million tonnes by 2020
- China’s thermal coal imports are projected to increase to 170 million tonnes by 2020
- India’s thermal coal imports are projected to increase to 255 million tonnes by 2020
- South Korean thermal coal imports are projected to increase to 113 million tonnes by 2020
- Many Asian countries are upgrading their coal-fired power plants to use the higher quality coal that is typically mined in Australia.
The mining industry, which employed 245,700 people in the September quarter of 2015, appears alive and well.