Actual production from the operating mines and open pits reached 1,996 million tons and 466 million tons in 2021, respectively.
India will remain the second largest industry player, with steam coal production of 757 million tons in 2021. The capacity of pre-investment projects reached 289 million tons per year. India, like China, will use coal primarily for its own needs. The capacity of coal-fired power plants under construction in these countries reached 94 GW and 31 GW by July 2022, respectively, i.e. 53% and 18% of the global volume (178 GW).
Although China accounted for 50% of the global wind turbines and 40% of solar panel commissioning in 2021, the country will continue to increase its demand for steam coal until 2030. In its turn, the key driver of coal demand in India will be urbanisation with its level being significantly lower than that of China’s (35% vs. 61%).
The third and the fourth places in terms of the potential rates of production increase belong to Australia and Russia, which are among the three largest exporters of steam coal yielding only to Indonesia (20% and 18% against 41% of the global export share respectively, according to the IEA estimate). Australia produced 221 million tons of steam coal in 2021 and 135 million tons at the combined projects, while for Russia these figures were 227 million tons and 33 million tons, respectively (with 103 million tons of coking coal and 49 million tons of coal of uncertain categories). Meanwhile, in Australia, the capacity of the steam coal mining projects at the pre-investment stage reached 115 million tons per year and in Russia, 69 million tons per year.
The driver of supply will remain the same growing demand in the Asian market, for which the Australian and Russian producers will have to compete with suppliers from Indonesia: the production of steam coal in this country was 456 million tons in 2021, while by July 2022, the capacity of potential coal mining projects reached 51 million tons per year. Although Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of steam coal, the country will continue to increase domestic demand: the capacity of coal-fired power plants under construction reached 19 GW by July 2022, which is the third largest figure in the world.