Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Energy Sector Stabilizing?

After I all but wrote off coal earlier in the week, the Tribune is reporting this week that coal has rebounded to where it's at about 75% of its pre bust production in the state.

That's not a full recovery, to be sure, but its doing a lot better than it was.

One of the people interviewed speculated that the market had been overheated and that this is a return to a more normal level of activity.  My guess is that's close to right.  This is likely to be the new normal.  I don't think my long term view expressed earlier in the week is likely wrong, but its not like I said that coal was going to disappear overnight.  A 25% reduction in production probably doesn't seem like great news for coal miners, but it actually probably is, compared to what was occuring.

On other fronts, the petroleum industry locally is hiring again, so things must be picking up a bit there.  This may be a similar story. A recovery, but not a super heated one.  A more normal level, therefore, of activity.

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