Coal and Other Minerals and Ores

SIC 5052

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

Establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of semifinished precious metals are classified under SIC 5094: Jewelry, Watches, Precious Stones, and Precious Metals. Establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of nonmetallic minerals used as construction materials are classified under SIC 5032: Brick, Stone, and Related Construction Materials. Establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of crude petroleum and petroleum products are classified under SIC 5171: Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 475 establishments were classified in this industry in 2009, continuing a decline that began in the 1980s. The industry employed 4,385 workers who were paid annual wages of nearly $404 million. Most companies were small, with about 70 percent employing fewer than 20 employees. Firms in the industry were subdivided into establishments primarily engaged in wholesaling coal and those primarily engaged in wholesaling other minerals and ores. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted the larger metal and mineral (except petroleum) merchant wholesalers industry employment figures would decrease about 4 percent between 2008 and 2018 (from 133,300 workers to 127,900). Wyoming was the top coal-producing state in 2010. Other important states in the industry were Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Montana, and Texas.

Total sales for this industry reached $18.7 billion in 2007, with coal sales accounting for $10.3 billion and sales of other minerals and ores totaling nearly $6.52 billion. The majority of industry establishments were merchant wholesalers. Sales by merchant wholesalers, however, typically represented only one-third of industry sales. The establishments classified as manufacturer sales branches and offices represented approximately half of industry sales. Agents, brokers, and commission merchants made up the remainder of industry sales.

Total U.S. coal production declined in the early years of the first decade of the 2000s. A downturn in the economy, as well as a mild winter, affected overall consumption. In addition, coal prices increased across the board in all sectors of coal production. However, the industry had bounced back by 2005 and reached a then-record high of 1.131 billion short tons, and U.S. coal production increased 1.7 percent. In particular, a warmer than average summer in 2005, combined with an improving economy, created a 2.1 percent growth in coal consumption for the electric power sector. In 2007 the record was pushed higher as coal production reached 1.172 billion short tons. Production dropped to 1.074 billion short tons in 2009 as the nation dealt with an economic recession, then increased slightly as the economy started to recover, reaching 1.093 billion short tons in 2011. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as natural gas prices increase, so does the demand for coal, so U.S. coal production was expected to rise to 1.187 billion short tons by 2035.

Some of the leading companies in this industry in the early 2010s included Alpha Natural Resources Inc. of Abingdon, Virginia. Alpha expanded in 2011 when it purchased Massey Energy. Sales that year for Alpha reached $3.9 billion, and the company produced 120 million tons of coal. Arch Coal Inc. of St Louis, Missouri, was another industry leader, with 2011 sales of $3.1 billion. Arch Coal was also on the acquisition bandwagon, purchasing rival International Coal Group for $3.4 billion in 2011. Peabody Energy in St. Louis was the world's largest private-sector coal producer, registering annual sales of $6.8 billion in 2011.

The top 10 U.S. coal producers in 2010, according to the Energy Information Administration, were Peabody Coal Co.; Arch Coal Inc.; Cloud Peak Energy; Alpha Natural Resources LLC; CONSOL Energy Inc.; Massey Energy Co.; NACCO Industries Inc.; Patriot Coal Corp.; Peter Kiewit Sons Inc.; and Alliance Resource Operating Partners LP. Together these companies accounted for about 67 percent of the total market in the early 2010s.

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

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