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Coal Production Prospects in the European Community

AUTHOR: Martin Daniel and Eric Jamieson
DATE: March 1992

This report analyses the prospects for coal production, demand and imports in the six countries responsible for almost all coal output in the European Community (Germany, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, France and Belgium).

The first chapter assesses the role of coal within overall European Community energy supply and energy objectives. European Community coal production is expensive, and for the most part uncompetitive against imports. Most output can only survive with the aid of state subsidies, or other forms of support. Future production will thus depend on which of two community energy objectives prevails - security of supply based on indigenous production, or the removal of market distortions within the Single Market.

Subsequent chapters consider the prospects in individual countries against this background. Projections of coal output, demand and imports are made up to 2000 for each country. The comprehensive analysis takes into account the implications of recent events, including the November 1991 'Coal Round' in Germany, the rationalisation plans for the Asturias region of Spain made early in 1992, and the April 1992 General Election in the UK.