Demand for Coal on the Rise as Sourcing for Domestic Steel Increases


This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Reade Advanced Materials, a premier specialty chemicals distributor for over 200 years.

Hello. In this week’s Thomas Index Report, we’re going to take a look at sourcing activity for Coal by users of the platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity for this category is up 75% over its historical average.

Our firmographic buyer data shows that two of the top industries driving this trend are thermal and heating equipment, and the metal manufacturing industry.

A look at the more than 170 suppliers of coal on shows a preponderance of providers of anthracite coal, as opposed to the bituminous or sub-bituminous, and lignite coal that’s typically used to fuel coal-powered energy plants. Anthracite coal is mined from the oldest geological formations on the planet, which makes it the hardest, most compressed, and thus cleanest-burning type of coal. It has many uses, from water purification and filtration to brickmaking and cement production to serving as fuel for residential furnaces, fireplaces, and commercial heating systems.

While the cold winter months can be pointed to for the recent uptick in sourcing activity, an increase in sourcing for domestic steel can also be considered a driver behind this trend. Anthracite coal is used heavily as an electric arc furnace fuel in the production of steel, and with 25% tariffs on Chinese steel still in effect, manufacturers have been relying more and more on U.S. sources of supply. In fact, our data shows that sourcing for domestic suppliers of steel is up 40% year over year on the platform.

Moving on from Coal, here’s a look at the top ten industrial product and service categories being sourced on the platform over the past four weeks.

  1. Steel
  2. Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)
  3. Food Products
  4. CNC Machining
  5. Packaging
  6. Injection Molded Plastics
  7. Plastic Bottles
  8. Corrugated Boxes
  9. Tube Fabrication & Bending Services
  10. Non-Destructive Testing Services

To get this weekly Thomas Index Report — as well as daily news and information for industry — please sign up for our Thomas Industry Update newsletter at

Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

Handbag Company Brings Jobs to Military FamiliesNext Story »