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What to look for in 2015

World Coal,

As volatile 2014 comes to a close, Wood Mackenzie has compiled a new report, Horizons: what to look for in 2015, which sees potentially damaging effects on coal industry players caused by China’s shift toward cleaner consumption of energy.

Paul McConnell, Principal Analyst for Global Trends at Wood Mackenzie, said that China was a clear focus of the report. “There are signs that this critical driver of energy and metals markets over the last decade or more is beginning to mature, with far-reaching implications for commodity demand.”

In 2015, the behaviour of Chinese consumers, the strength of the economy and the policy direction taken by the government will set the scene for energy and metals demand growth over the medium term.

Looking at Chinese policy specifically in regards to coal use, the report says its shift toward cleaner consumption of energy will be a key theme to watch out for.

A twin-pronged approach to environmental protection and support for domestic mining companies means a shift to cleaner coal consumption and a reduction of seaborne imports. Details of the 13th Five Year Plan will become clear in 2015, but are likely to accelerate the drive towards a more sustainable China. Wood Mackenzie notes that such policies could mean further damaging impacts on global coal producers.

Metallurgical coal miners will also closely watch infrastructure developments in China. There are hints that China has committed to building infrastructure, and the industry will need to position itself accordingly for the next phase of Chinese infrastructure growth. 

Written by Sam Dodson

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