Australia exported 154 million tonnes last year – 94Mt more than its next best competitor, the US. Indonesia, which exported the most steam coal (423Mt), produced the least coking coal (3Mt).
Australia was second on the list for steam coal (at 182Mt) behind Indonesia, with Russia (118Mt) the next best competitor.
Reports vary, however, about just how much is left.
WCA said the IEA reported that, according to the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, there were 1052 billion tonnes of coal reserves remaining as of 2012, or 14.6 billion tonnes more than in 2011.
These proved reserves represent 134.5 years of production at current levels, up from 133.1 years calculated last year and 131.6 years in the preceding year.
“However, other publications such as the BP Statistical Review of World Energy often refer to the World Energy Council estimates of global coal reserves. According to this source there are 892 billion tonnes of coal reserves left, or 113 years of coal output,” WCA said.
Based on data provided by the International Energy Agency and the BP Statistical Review of
World Energy, WCA noted that coal provides 30.1% of global primary energy needs and generates over 40% of the world's electricity. It is also used in the production of over 70% of the world’s steel.
Total world coal production reached a record level of over 7.8Bt last year, or 0.4% more than in 2012.