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2016 was an exceptional year for coal prices. The period of decline which began in 2011, was interrupted by the rapid growth. Coal prices grew by 7-10 percent in November continuing a 24-29 percent growth in October. Since January, when the price of coal reached a 10-year low, coal prices have rebounded by about 100 percent.

This situation is attributable to several factors. First, it is the consequence of an implemented policy in China which aimed at reducing harmful emissions. China is the largest coal consumer and coal producer at the same time. The reduction in own-grown production led to the increase in coal imports. Second, not only China reduced its coal mining. Indian coal industry also had hard times. The strike of miners led to the crisis in the industry. The market was not ready for that and, as result, coal prices immediately began to soar.

Leading international agencies made the following predictions of future coal price change:

  • The World Bank in its July commodity forecast report estimated that the price for coal will rise in 2016 to $58/mt against $57.5/mt in 2015. After that, the price will fall in 2017 to $55/mt. And since 2018, it will grow slowly.
  • The IMF's June report revealed a different forecast. The IMF’s experts predict a growth in 2017 to $83.7/mt and a slight drop in 2018 to $76.2/mt.

View more energy statistics and visualizations related to energy, including the estimated breakeven cost of oil production by countrynatural gas price dynamics and insights from the BP Energy Outlook 2035, or dive deeper into historical commodity prices from the World Bank and IMF or commodity price forecasts.

You can also explore with Knoema a variety of other critical commodities, including:

gold | silver | copper | aluminum | nickel | zinc | coal | natural gas | crude oil

As you examine commodity prices and forecasts, you may also be interested in economic forecasts for the G20 countries across the following indicators: GDP growth | inflation | unemployment | government debt | current account balance | external debt.

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