Coal Price Trend and Forecast

Regional Price Overview

Get comprehensive insights into the Coal market, with a focused analysis of the Coal price trend across Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Coal Price Trend for the Q1 of 2024


The coal prices in the Asian markets were witnessed to be declining throughout the said period of the first quarter of the year 2024. The Indian coal market was constantly weighed down by the surplus inventory stocks. A rapid increase in coal production, especially by Coal India, the world’s largest miner, has resulted in the stockpiles surpassing 43 million metric tonnes. This resulted in the coal imports dropping substantially for the country.

Coal Price Chart

Coal Price Trends

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As the global coal demands weakened, coal prices fell to a three-year low in the country. A similar situation was seen in the Chinese coal market as well, prices here averaged at around 129 USD/MT throughout the said quarter. Bulked-up inventories created a downward pressure on the price trajectory here as well since the demands were bearish. Overall, a tepid price graph was witnessed in Q1’24.


In the European coal market, the price trend was observed to be strictly following the steadiness of the global markets. The demands were feeble, and whatever demands arrived, the existing inventories were more than capable of catering to them. As the climate has been changing, the weather has become hotter, which has reduced heating requirements in several regions, further curtailing the consumption requirements.

The domestic stockpiles were already in bulk amounts, and the international market was also flooded with excess coal as the offtakes dwindled globally. Weakened gas prices and easy utilization made people switch from coal to gas in Germany, which increased the unused coal quantities in the region even more. Conclusively, muted market performance was experienced in Q1’24.

North America

Influenced by the overburdened global inventories coal prices underwent a rocky downhill trail in the American market also. Feeble demands and massive availability forced coal prices down in the American markets. As the geopolitical uncertainties with two open war fronts keep mounting up, the trade situation keeps getting complicated for the region. Freight disturbances in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean are adding to the misery of coal traders. A generally underwhelming market performance was experienced during the said period.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, Coal price trends are expected to depreciate even further as the demand trajectory doesn’t seem very supportive for the coming times.

Coal Price Index For the Q4 of 2023

Commodity Sector Region Price Time Period
Coal Operating Costs, Logistics and Utilities USA 135 USD/MT Dec-23
Coal Operating Costs, Logistics and Utilities China 132 USD/MT Dec-23
Coal Operating Costs, Logistics and Utilities China 123 USD/MT Oct’23

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Coal Price Trend for the October - December of 2023


In the last month of the fourth quarter, Asia coal imports surged to a record 83.69 million metric tons, with China leading the rise at 32.08 million tons. This rise in import levels is a direct consequence of strong demand in China; however, the coal prices showed only minimal changes from around 123 USD/MT (Spot) to 132 USD/MT during the entire quarter. This could be attributed to the substantial gains in coal exports from Indonesia and Australia, which flooded the Asian markets. On the other hand, India reduced its coal purchases, opting for diversified suppliers like South Africa and Japan.


The European countries did not show a favorable trend, as the coal price trends seemed to have struggled throughout the quarter. The energy sector of Europe has been quite volatile in the past few quarters as the countries navigate a plan to deal with its sliding economic conditions.

The consumers contracted their purchasing activities, and the coal prices fell southwards. Additionally, the ports also experienced the arrival of excessive vessels while the domestic inventories themselves were in bloom, and on top of that, the tepid demand kept the coal price trends on the negative side of the price graph.

North America

US coal prices experienced a subdued demand from both domestic and overseas downstream industries as it was influenced by milder weather forecasts in the US and Europe. Additionally, the oversupply in the market and the reluctance of manufacturers to cut production rates are weighted on the negative side of the spectra.

The competition from South African coal and declining pet coke prices affecting the global market of coal also played a significant role in dictating the coal price trends. The coal prices in the US domestic market averaged around 135 USD/MT in December’23.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trends of Coal are likely to be dependent only on the demand for its derivatives such as naphtha, natural gas, etc.

Coal Price Trend for the July-September of 2023


The escalation in the prices of coal during the third quarter of 2023 was much more prominent in Australia as compared to China. Moreover, the overall rise in the prices was due to the exponential rise in demand from the industries.

On the other hand, the operation of coal mines was adversely affected by adverse weather conditions and increased sanctions due to environmental concerns, which depleted the level of inventories. The spot prices of coal averaged around 120 USD/MT (Spot, FD) in September’23 in the Chinese domestic market.


The interest of overseas industries inclined significantly in the European coal sector, which supported the rise in the coal price trend. In addition to this, the demand for the domestic electricity sector also witnessed a surge that further supported the rise in the price of coal. The supply chains also remained stressed throughout this quarter due to the adverse weather conditions, depleting inventory levels, and increasing logistical challenges in the region, thus supporting the rise in the prices of coal.

North America

In North America, the surge in procurement rates from the electricity sector and overseas industries resulted in a rise in the prices of coal. The market momentum and coal price graph were also driven by the positive outlook of the Asia Pacific and European countries, which helped in increasing the export rates of coal and thus escalating its prices.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend of Coal are expected to continue their bullish trend as the demand from the electricity sector and global trading sentiments seem to be working in favor of the northward movement of coal prices.

Coal Price Trend for the First Half of 2023


In the Asia-Pacific region, the coal market contracted significantly due to low demand and the high pressure of rising currency rates amid the feebly performing economic conditions. In the first and second quarters, the mining activities gained pace, which increased the availability of coal in the markets. However, the demand from downstream industries was not enough to consume this high supply. The Asian markets were also hit by the opening of several mines that further escalated the oversupply problem, and thus, the price trend of coal in the region declined.


The fluctuating purchasing habits of consumers and the increased supply of coal in European nations hampered the growth of the coal price trend. The decreasing rates of energy and shortage of labor also supported the falling prices of coal in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, there was a significant constriction in the prices in the month of May. The European countries adapted towards more sustainable and eco-friendly substitutes of coal, which resulted in a reduction in the new number of orders, and as a result, the price trend of coal declined widely in the second quarter of 2023.

North America

The price trend of coal declined as surplus availability of the product continued to be a problem for the coal market in both the first and second quarters of 2023. However, amid slow demand, the mining and extraction activities did not lose their momentum and continued to incline, which further contributed to the problem of oversupply.

The downstream market activities, especially of the steel and power production industries, supported the coal market towards the end of the second quarter. And with the peak in demand for electricity, the price trend of coal stabilized at the end phase of the second quarter.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend of Coal is estimated to depict a bearish trend as the demand from downstream industries seems to be fluctuating.

Coal Price trend for the Second Half of 2022


In the Chinese domestic market, the prices of coal fell initially and stabilized towards the end of the third quarter. The price decrease was due to weakened demand. The wait-and-see attitude of the power plants coupled with the decreased output from mines further retracted the prices. However, the prices began to stabilize and consolidated steadily as the market became enthusiastic about purchasing coal.

The same inclining trend continued in the fourth quarter as the demand for conventional coal-powered plants increased. Given the unprecedented rise in heatwaves, the water bodies dried up, shifting the dependence on hydropower to thermal plants, causing the coal prices to rise in the domestic market.


The energy crisis unleashed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine was further exacerbated by the European embargo and Western sanctions on Russian exports. Many countries in the EU have coal dependency exceeding 50% on Russian imports.

The price trends for coal in the third quarter showed a fluctuating pattern. However, with substitute shipments from the African and Latin American nations, the prices stabilized to a certain extent measuring in September 2022. The price trends declined in the fourth quarter as Australian and American coal found their way to Europe. As the supply was able to meet the immediate demands, the coal prices stabilized to a larger extent.

North America

The price trends for coal recorded a mixed pattern in the US domestic market. The prices witnessed intervals of incline and decline throughout the third quarter. However, with the removal of port congestions and the availability of suitable alternatives the overall price of coal fell in the market.

US coal consumption decreased by around 8% in the last quarter as a good domestic production of natural gas took care of the energy requirements in the USA. Overall, the coal prices didn’t rise too much as a healthy supply-demand dynamic was maintained, moreover, the prices hovered around lower values.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, coal prices are expected to decline further in the coming quarter. 2022 witnessed unprecedented hikes in coal prices owing to events like the covid mandated Chinese lockdown, and the Russia-Ukraine war which led to supply chain disruptions and interrupted energy flows abruptly. However, the supply chains and trade are now continuing to be normalised and the market demand is still low. Hence, all these factors will lead to lower price trends for coal.

For the Second Quarter of 2022


In the forecast period, the Indian coal imports reached a new maximum despite the rising international prices. Despite Russia offering coal to India at a discounted price, its price trends remained strong in the Indian domestic market. Coal price increase was attributed to the higher demands from the power sectors and the depleting inventories. Consequently, pushing the spot power tariffs further.

A similar trend in the Chinese domestic market was seen due to supply chain disruptions and shortages. The price of anthracite went from 1675 RMB/MT (April 2022) to 1990 RMB/MT in June 2022.


The European embargo on Russian coal exports surged its futures in the European market. Due to sanctions, all the EU member states were forced to suspend or terminate the existing contracts with Russia. Since Europe depends on Russia for its energy needs, these sanctions triggered an acute energy crisis in Europe, giving way to runaway inflation.

North America

The prices of coal remained strong in the US. Along with the supply disruptions and inflated freight prices, other necessary factors like rising operating costs and carbon neutrality contributed to the higher costs. The price averaged 308 USD/MT in the domestic arena.

For the First Quarter of 2022


Russia continued to be a significant supplier of coal to the seaborne market, accounting for 17% and 10% of global traffic in thermal and coking coal, respectively. Buyers were unable to transact with Russian coal suppliers due to SWIFT sanctions against some Russian banks and worries about counterparty credit risks.

Additionally, an increasing number of Western power utilities were considering a voluntary embargo on Russian coal supply, causing problems in the routine coal trade. As a result, on March 3, 2022, eight days after the Russia-Ukraine war began, seaborne thermal coal prices soared to an all-time high of 430 USD/MT as Western countries began imposing sanctions on Russia.


In Q1 2022, coal's share of energy generation in Germany increased to around 30%, up from little over 20% in January-March 2020 despite the fact that the country's installed coal-fired capacity has been decreased by about a fifth in the last three years. With gas prices being stubbornly high since late 2021, other Western European nations with a major coal power plant fleet, like Italy and the Netherlands, followed suit. The difference between the former and the latter was around 60 EUR/MWh.

North America

Domestic coal consumption was expected to grow 14.2 million tons year over year, with Henry Hub spot price rising to 5.43 USD/MMBtu in 2022, up from 4.06 USD/MMBtu in 2021. The EIA projected coal consumption would reach 560.1 million short tons in 2022, up 2.6% from 2021, while electric power consumption to reach 517 million short tons, up 3.1% from 2021.

Latin America

The average realized steelmaking coal price in the first quarter was 357 USD/MT, underpinned by record steelmaking FOB coal prices. The sequential increase in steelmaking coal prices from 351 USD/MT in the fourth quarter of 2021 resulted to favorable pricing adjustments of nearly USD 88 million.

For the Fourth Quarter of 2021


China had a dominant role to play in the rise of coal prices in 2021. When China refused to continue coal trade with Australia, it added to the rise in demand due to a shortage of supply. In October 2021, the price in China was the highest recorded ever at 223 USD/MT. The cost of production increased significantly due to the increased prices of steel. This was also due to the continued higher prices of gas. The Chinese government intervened to control the price rise and was able to lower it by mid-November 2021. In Europe, the price stabilised to 150 USD/MT.

In Australia, coal prices rose to 224.51 USD/MT in October 2021, following a decline to 157.48 USD/MT in November and then again, a price rise to 169.65 USD/MT in December 2021. In Indonesia, the price peaked at 269.50 USD/MT in October 2021 and declined to 140 USD/MT in November 2021 and rose gradually by the end of December to 170 USD/MT. In India, the price peaked at 129.27 USD/MT in November 2021, followed by a fall in coal prices to 123.24 USD/MT in December 2021.


Early in October 2021, the prices hit all-time highs, with imported thermal coal in Europe reaching 298 USD/MT. The Chinese government's quick policy action to balance the market had a rapid impact on prices. European coal prices were around 150 USD/MT as of mid-November.

North America

In 2021, the total coal production in North America was 584 MT while consumption was 541 MT.

For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021


In 2021, the average price in China almost doubled to 133.75 USD/MT, with the final quarter recording an average price of 166.66 USD. In the first quarter of 2021, the average price was 81.667 USD, which increased to 125 USD, 161.66 USD, and 166.66 USD in the subsequent quarters, respectively. This sudden and immense rise in coal prices could be attributed to its rising demand and not enough supply and production to keep up with it. The reduced imports from India and Australia also added to the supply constraints. Domestic production in China was also limited since most coal came from mines that were already established or had been abandoned in the past due to low prices.

China and India took pledges to reduce their emissions, which could affect their coal demand and supply. However, it seemed unlikely that these pledges would be implemented in the near future with the increase in demand to 4% in India in 2021, which was supported by the increased power generation demands from Indian households and due to the re-opening of the economy after the pandemic, raising the consumption levels to more than those in 2019.

Policies were therefore implemented to prevent power outages. The price in India in the first quarter of 2021 was about 91.07 USD/MT which remained stagnant until the end of second quarter when the price dropped to 87.05 USD/MT in June 2021. Eventually there was sharp rise in the third quarter to 95.08 USD/MT in August 2021.

Production in Australia was affected by the shutting down of mines, namely Moranbah North mine, which was closed due to high gas readings. Certain other hindrances owing to bad weather, explosions at ports and immigration policies that affected large numbers of workers also slowed down production in Australia. China also reduced the import of Australian coal, which forced the country to adapt to new and challenging export routes, driving up the price. Australia, however, will still be one of the largest producers of met coal in 2021. The mean price in Australia in the 2020 was 142.58 USD/MT in 2020 with highest price of 224.51 USD/MT in October and the lowest price of 86.74 USD/MT in February.

Even Indonesia was not able to keep up with the demands of China with its exports due to bad weather conditions (such as heavy rainfall and flooding of factories) and also due to the limited availability of heavy equipment. The price of 75 USD/MT continued for the first quarter of 2021 which was followed by a steep rise in prices at the end of the second quarter at the soaring levels of 149 USD/MT. By the end of the third quarter, the prices were around 175 USD/MT.

North America

In the United States, the demand had decreased to 20% up until the year 2020. Interestingly, in 2021 the coal power generation in US was forecasted to increase by 2021, followed by a steep decline in upcoming years. The demand in US rose by 17% (nearly 75 metric tonnes). This increase in demand was attributed to the rising prices for natural gas due to its limited supply. In 2021, US increased its exports due to the rising demand in Europe Union. Coal prices in US raised to 230 USD/MT.


The consumption in Europe increased in 2021, as the global economy rebounded after the pandemic. The thermal coal consumption levels in Europe and US together were as much as the numbers in China in spite of Europe’s plans to abandon the use of coal to reduce emissions. In Europe, coal prices in 2021 were as high as 298 USD/MT.

For the Year 2020


In 2020, the Asia-Pacific region dominated global coal production, with China alone accounting for 50% of production in the world, followed by India and Australia. The electricity supply requirements dropped due to the shutting down of factories and companies. The drop in prices was also supported by the collapse of global steel production, especially in countries like India where imports were affected due to falling steel production.

Even before the pandemic, the industry was facing major setbacks due to the emergence of cheaper renewable energy sources and also due to the low prices of natural gas. Global demand was reduced by 4.4% in 2020, the highest decline in decades. However, this decline was lower than what was anticipated, the reasons for which could be attributed to a growing Chinese economy and the rise in global electricity demand.

The average price in China in the year 2020 was 71.33 USD/MT. The first quarter witnessed an average price of 76.66 USD with the highest price of 82 USD recorded in January, which gradually decreased in the following quarters to 73.33 USD in quarter 2 and 67.33 USD in quarter 3, with the lowest price of 64 USD in July 2020. However, in the final quarter of 2020, the average price increased slightly to 68 USD, which was followed by a significant increase in the upcoming year of 2021.

In 2020, the demand in China plummeted owing to the global pandemic of COVID-19. China and India, along with being the largest producers of this product, are also the major consumers of it. Backed by the continual efforts of the Chinese government to increase the profits from coal, the Coal Trading Centre was set up in Beijing in 2020, and two new companies were opened with the aim of producing at least 1 billion tonnes of coal annually.

In India, the government had formed plans to increase coal efficiency through the introduction of commercial mining techniques. In November 2020, an annual capacity of 50 million tonnes was allocated. However, this amount fails to keep up with the volume of coal generated annually, which is about 800 million tonnes. The demand in India was expected to increase along with the expansion of the economy and to fuel the rising demand for electricity, steel and cement to aid infrastructural development.

Australia is also a major producer and exporter of metallurgical coal and has continued its dominance in the market. In the first half of 2020, Australia was the major exporter of coking coal to China, which decreased in the latter half due to the increased restrictions on imports by the Chinese government. Australia emerged as the second largest exporter of this product in 2020 after Indonesia. The average price in Australia in the 2020 was 60.8 USD/MT in 2020 with highest price of 83.03 USD/MT in December and the lowest price of 50.14 USD/MT in August.

The demand in Indonesia was also affected due to the pandemic. Although production dropped in 2020, the government of Indonesia planned to broaden the scope of increased production in the following year due to an increased demand for exports. The prices in Indonesia dropped from an average price of 68 USD/MT in the first quarter to approximately 53 USD in the second quarter and remained mostly stagnant till a small and gradual rise to 59 USD/MT by end of December 2020.

North America

The global pandemic led to shutting down of factories, which in turn affected the power consumption levels and reduced the demand by as low as 20% in United States in 2020. More than 500 mines were shut down owing to the low consumption levels. The US exports also decreased due to the global drop in demand. Coal prices in US were 46.5 USD/MT in August 2020.


The demand in Europe Union also decreased in the same manner as in US close to a 19% drop. Europe, in the past had made strong decisions to reduce the emissions from coal consumption and switched to more greener alternatives up until 2020. The average price in Europe in 2020 was about 50.28 USD/MT.

Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Coal. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.

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Coal is known as a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, which is made as rock strata called coal seams. Coal is composed of mostly carbon with variable amounts of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulphur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is made when dead plant matter is decayed into peat and gets converted into coal by the action of heat and pressure of deep burial over thousands of years. Coal serves as a primary source of energy at several industries, including iron and steel.

Product Details

Report Features Details
Product Name Coal
Industrial Uses Electricity Generation, Fossil Fuel, Steel Production, Cement Production, Liquid Fuel
Supplier Database BHP Group Limited, China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd, Anglo American Plc, China Coal Energy Co. Ltd., Arch Coal Inc., Coal India Ltd., Glencore Plc, JSC Siberian Coal Energy Co.
Region/Countries Covered Asia Pacific: China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, UAE, Israel, Hongkong, Singapore, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Australia, and New Zealand

Europe: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy,  Spain, Russia, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Ireland Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece

North America: United States and Canada

Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru

Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco
Currency US$ (Data can also be provided in local currency)
Supplier Database Availability Yes
Customization Scope The report can be customized as per the requirements of  the customer 
Post-Sale Analyst Support 360-degree analyst support after report delivery

Note: Our supplier search experts can assist your procurement teams in compiling and validating a list of suppliers indicating they have products, services, and capabilities that meet your company's needs.

Production Processes

  • Production of Coal via Mining

Coal is obtained via mining and extraction. Most coal mined is thermal coal, also known as steam coal, which is used in the electricity generation, while metallurgical coal, also known as "metcoal" or "coking coal", is used to make coke to make iron.


The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).

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