Demand for coal has become so intense that at one point it was tipped to overtake oil as the biggest global fuel by 2030, by no less than the International Energy Agency (IEA).
This demand was driven overwhelmingly by China, which is responsible for almost half the world’s coal usage.
Yet increasingly loud signals from Beijing suggest that its coal consumption may be close to its peak, causing price falls and analyst downgrades. Demand for the fuel in China could peak as early as 2015, according to senior research staff at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, quoted in a recent Citi research note.
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