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Hard Coal Mining in the UK - Industry Market Research Report

United Kingdom hard coal mining market: £1.1 billion industry by 2019

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2014-02-24 20:22:01 - Hard Coal Mining in the UK - Industry Market Research Report - a new market research report on

The United Kingdom is a minor producer of coal, in both a European and a global context. Production has fallen sharply since the early 1970s, plunging as mines were closed in the mid-1980s. This trend continued into the five years through 2013-14, exacerbated by decreasing demand from electricity producers and growing import penetration. Electricity producers have fallen under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint and have started turning their backs on coal in favour of renewable energy and cleaner fuels.

As electricity producers are the source of over 80% of domestic coal mining revenue, this change is beginning to undermine the industry. At the same time, imports have become a sizeable threat and now satisfy 77.6% of domestic demand. The



much higher extraction volumes achieved by powerhouse exporters such as Russia mean they can get better terms on the long-term, high-value contracts that are the most secure source of revenue. Over the five years through 2013-14, IBISWorld estimates industry revenue to rise at a compound annual rate of 2.2% to £1.0 billion. Industry revenue is forecast to drop by 5.3% over 2013-14, echoing the weakening demand conditions faced.

The Hard Coal Mining industry is expected to face hard times over the five years through 2018-19, although inflated prices will help revenue to grow. Firmer prices are expected to more than offset a continued decline in production as the four main companies make the most of existing domestic contracts. Electricity producers will continue to search frantically for viable environmentally friendly fuel options at the expense of coal. The increased stringency of greenhouse gas reduction measures is anticipated to create difficult conditions for industry operators. However, the government is supporting the development of carbon capture and storage technology that could make coal-fired electricity production less harmful to the environment.

Nonetheless, the technology is unlikely to become commercially available until 2016 at the earliest. Over the five years through 2018-19, IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue will grow at a compound annual rate of 1.5% to £1.1 billion. Profit will rise at a faster rate in response to higher coal prices. The industry will be at least partially protected from decline by demand from electricity producers for at least the next five years.

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