Coal consumption

Global coal consumption grew by 25 mtoe, or 1%, the first growth since 2013

Growth was driven largely by India (18 mtoe), with China consumption also up slightly (4 mtoe) following three successive annual declines during 2014-2016. OECD demand fell for the fourth year in a row (-4 mtoe).

After several years of free-fall, the coal market experienced a mini-revival last year, with both global consumption and production increasing. India (4.8%,) recorded the fastest growth, as demand both inside and outside of the power sector increased. China’s coal consumption (0.5%,) also ticked-up. This is despite the substantial coal-to-gas switching in the industrial and residential sector, as increases in power demand in China sucked in additional coal as the balancing fuel.

Consumption by region (million tonnes oil equivalent)

Consumption by region (million tonnes oil equivalent)


Coal consumption includes data for solid fuels only. Included in the hard coal category are bituminous and anthracite. The sub-bituminous coal includes lignite and brown coal. Other commercial solid fuels are also included. The figures exclude coal converted to liquid or gaseous fuels, but includes coal consumed in transformation processes.

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