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The infrastructural development all over the world seems to be consistent in the upcoming years due to rapid industrialization and urbanization. This rapid economic development needs a sizeable amount of steel for constructing large structures such as bridges, commercial spaces, mega housing projects, etc. to ease the life of mankind. Coal is mainly used in this process either for power generation or steel production. Metallurgical coal differs from thermal coal by its carbon content and its caking ability. Caking refers to the coal’s ability to be converted into coke.
Coke is produced by heating coals in a coke oven in reducing atmosphere. Coke quality is mostly influenced by coal rank, composition, mineral content and the ability to soften when heated, become plastic, and resolidify into a coherent mass. Bituminous class coals of a high, medium and low volatile rank that possess these properties are called “coking” coals. High-quality coking coals are in high demand by steel producers who need to maximize the productivity of their blast furnace operations.
The metallurgical coal market is segmented into type and end-user. Based on type, the market is further divided into high-grade coal, semi-soft coking coal, and pulverized coking coal. The majority of the coal is either used in power generation or iron and steel production. Hard coking coals like anthracite have better coking properties than semi-soft coking coals, allowing them to garner a higher price.
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It accounts for the largest market share for the production of steel and iron. Pulverized coking coal is often not considered as coking coal, but still, it is used as a source of energy in the steelmaking process. Steel and iron production industry account the largest market share owing to the tremendous demand for the steel. Coal is used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry for medical applications.
Steel is vastly used in the infrastructural project which includes the construction of a large structure such as bridges, dam, factories, warehouses, commercial spaces, and numerous others which projected to grow growth of the metallurgical coal market. In addition, coal is significantly used in the pharmaceutical application, especially skin-related diseases which also adding substantial growth for the metallurgical coal market.
The main concern of global warming is the burning of fossil fuel which in turn leading to environmental degradation. Coal emits toxic gases such as NOx, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and numerous other substances hazardous to human health. Strict emission policies and a hefty fine to arrest coal pollution are retarding the metallurgical coal growth.
The major metallurgical coal companies in the world are Coal India Limited, BHP, Vale, China Shenhua, Arch Coal, Inc., Anglo American, Peabody Energy, Raspadskaya, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group Co., Ltd., Teck Resources Limited, Washington H. Soul Pattinson, Alliance Resource Partners L.P., Warrior Met Coal, Inc., and Coronado Global Resources Inc.
The metallurgical coal market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. The steel demand in North American countries is expected to be steady in the forecasting period. In general, the demand for coal in the USA remains dismal, though there are signs of encouragement. Expansion of industries, growth in the automotive sector, the infrastructural market boom is expected to leverage the metallurgical coal demand in Europe. APAC is the largest consumer of the metallurgical coal in the world in which China is leading in the world due to tremendous infrastructural development opportunities.
India is also offering lucrative market owing to its massive domestic production capacity of coal and massive consumer market which accelerate the growth of the metallurgical growth in APAC. MEA is projected to grow at a steady rate and companies are aiming to increase their oil and gas production. The football world cup 2022 is scheduled to be held in Qatar which is driving infrastructural development project. A large fund is allotted to build commercial spaces, hotels, sporting complex, etc which require a substantial amount of steel. These factors contribute to leverage the demand for metallurgical coal.
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