Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency, says Australian coal producers can overcome their current woes as coal shrugs off reports its time has passed, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Dr Birol, who develops the closely watched World Energy Outlook for the IEA, said the market negativity surrounding coal had been overplayed.

“People have been wrong many times saying that the time of the coal is passed, is over,” Dr Birol told the AFR. “[But] we have seen that the coal is still growing strongly – unless there are some regulations [to slow its growth].”

Dr Birol also offered good news for the booming Australian LNG sector, suggesting fears of price falls were overplayed given the IEA’s view that prices world not converge in Europe, the US and Asia anytime in the next 20 years.

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