Challenges ahead as US coal exports grow

New directions

Coal train

Internationally, coal demand has gone from strength to strength, creating a new potential route to market for US coal producers feeling the effects of a recession-struck domestic market.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), total US coal exports increased by 18.2% during the last quarter of 2010, compared to the same quarter in 2009.

Some major dealers and brokerages have already seized the export opportunity, restructuring their coal businesses or opening US desks to

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