Coal production in 2018 increased by 3.3% and amounted to 7.81 million tons. Compared to 2010, it increased by 620 million tons. The structure of coal production in the world is very stable in the analyzed period of 2010–2018. Steam coal dominates in production with a share of 77%. Since 1990, the share of coal in the consumption of primary energy carriers has fallen by 3% in the global economy. In the EU, the share of coal in the consumption of primary energy carriers is more than twice lower than in the world, and in 2018 amounted to 13%. BP estimates the sufficiency of coal proven reserves based on 2018 data for the next 132 years. For oil and gas, they are estimated at 51 years. The decline in hard coal production in the European U nion can be dated almost continuously since 1990, which has decreased by 74%. In 2018, 74 million tons of coal were produced in the EU. In 2018, hard coal consumption in EU countries dropped to 226 million tons, i.e. by 20.6%. In 2018, global trade in steam coal amounted to 1.14 billion tons. The situation in China is crucial for the international coal market. The slight change in the import policy of this country significantly affects the situation in international trade in steam coal. In 2019, coal prices (at Newcastle, Richards Bay, ARA ports) dropped by an average of 23 U SD/ton. The average decreases for these three indices were 33%. The prices of steam coal in the forecasts presented in the paper are under pressure of the falling demand.
The article presents the challenges faced by the hard coal mining sector in Poland. The biggest challenge results from a decrease in the demand for coal, which was triggered mainly by the climate policy, including the tightening of environmental standards and an increase in the efficiency of generating units. The fundamental model of the MRÓWKA domestic coal market has been described. The model allows for determining the marginal price of a given fuel for a given generating unit in the system and the optimal mix of fuels to meet the energy demand. The results of the model calculations for the baseline and alternative scenarios were presented. It has been shown that the optimal distribution of coal mining capacities promotes the import of the discussed fuel in the north-eastern part of the country and that the individual customer valuation leads to a decrease in the competitiveness of the units located in the central-western part of the country. The paper also discusses the potential impact of the domestic oversupply on the balance sheet and the price of coal. According to the obtained results and the basic laws of economics, an oversupply of coal leads to a decrease in prices. For the analyzed variants, the dependence of prices was estimated at PLN 0.0308 / GJ for every million tons of the oversupply. The fall in prices is largely due to the fuel supply to units located close to ports or railway border crossings. Based on the presented arguments it can be concluded that the maximization of financial result from the extraction of coal should be based on an analysis taking incremental changes in fuel prices into account.