Australia's price coal 1980-2030

One of the leading economic industries in Australia, coal mining has contributed significantly to the local economy. In 2030, Australian coal was projected to cost around 60 real U.S. dollars per million British thermal units.

Coal market

The contribution of the coal mining industry to Australia’s economy was valued at over 17 billion Australian dollars in 2017. Coal consumption is much lower than production in Australia, so most of the mined coal is exported. In fact, Australia exports the most coal by value out of any other country, with major export partners including China and Japan. Australia’s reliance on its mining exports may lead to potential problems, particularly if long-term demand drops due to emerging alternative fuel sources, climate action and increased competition from other coal producing countries. The effect on the tens of thousands of Australian workers in the mining industry may have already been seen, with lower employment numbers recorded recently.

Environmental impact

Of late, the fugitive emissions from coal mining have come under fire due to their contribution to environmental pollution. In Australia, emissions from underground coal mines totaled 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – the greatest contributor to greenhouse gases compared to other oil and gas subsectors. With a global focus on reducing air pollution and mitigating climate effects, the future of mining in Australia may not be as certain as it once was.

Projection of Australian coal price from 1980 to 2030 (in U.S. dollars per million British thermal units)*

Price in U.S. dollars per million Btu
203060
202957.7
202857.2
202756.8
202656.3
202555.9
202055.4
201955
201860
201770
201665.9
201557.5
201470.1
201379.7
201280.3
201199.1
201087.6
200029.4
199041.1
198052.7
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Source

Release date

January 2017

Region

Australia

Survey time period

1980 to 2016

Supplementary notes

* Prices in nominal U.S. dollars. The figures from 2017 to 2025 are projections; the figures from 1980 to 2016 are already accurate. Figures prior to 2014 are taken from previous reports.
Figures have been rounded.

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