The Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse Just Opened the Door for These Investors

Keith Kohl

Written By Keith Kohl

Updated May 15, 2024

The fallout from the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse is far more outreaching than most people realize.

Forget the wild conspiracies floating around social media. If only for a few moments push aside the crazy notions like Chinese cyberattacks, connections to Israel, or even the idea that the accident was caused by the Dali’s captain being affected by COVID vaccine side effects. 

That kind of fantastical speculation over how this tragedy occurred has overshadowed the most important question to ask: What’s next?

And the entire crisis had me saying something that I never thought I would utter again.

It may be time to buy coal.

Old King Coal Remains A Key Export

Look, most of the veteran members in our investment community here know my disdain for the coal industry. You probably feel the same way after watching dirt cheap natural gas prices almost single-handedly ended our 320-year love affair with the coal industry. 

I know, I know… renewables like wind and solar are given much of that credit; they certainly helped play a role in the death of coal and stole much of the limelight. 

The reality is that we’re no longer building coal plants because it simply can’t compete against the cleaner burning natural gas that flows heavily out of the Appalachian region. 

However, just because we’re using less coal here doesn’t mean it’s not being used elsewhere. 

According to the numbers at the EIA, our coal exports will make up a growing share of total demand going forward. In fact, exports are expected to account for nearly 20% of demand this year, which is up from 14% in 2019. 

The gap between our domestic coal consumption and rising exports will widen in the years ahead solely from the U.S. electric power sector demand shifting to more natural gas and renewable energy. 

That, dear reader, is the key export… and in the case of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, coal is king. 

Of course, this is where your opportunity presents itself.

Prior to March 26, 2024, I don’t think many people knew much about the Port of Baltimore. 

Truth be told, I still don’t think people know about the cargo that was shipped in and out of the Patapsco River. 

Would you be surprised to learn that nearly 30% of U.S. coal exports were shipped out of the Port of Baltimore? Or that it was the second-largest coal-exporting hub in the United States?

Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t know that, because not many did — and still don’t!

Go ahead, take a look for yourself:

coal exports

That’s approximately 20 million short tons of coal exported to global markets every year. 

Even less surprising is where our coal is headed to. Back in February, we talked a little bit about how India will soon overtake China as the primary driver for global oil demand growth. 

It turns out that India is hungry for more than oil. Last year, India bought an overwhelming amount of U.S. thermal coal. 

As you might’ve guessed by now, the Port of Baltimore is going to be shut down for quite some time while the government figures out what to do next. That extended closure is going to pour volatility into coal companies directly tied to those exports. It’ll certainly cause lengthy delays as coal is diverted to other ports like the one in Norfolk (which is already the largest coal processing port). 

Soon, it may be time to go bargain hunting in the coal sector. 

Until next time,

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Keith Kohl

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A true insider in the technology and energy markets, Keith’s research has helped everyday investors capitalize from the rapid adoption of new technology trends and energy transitions. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital, as well as the investment director of Angel Publishing’s Energy Investor and Technology and Opportunity.

For nearly two decades, Keith has been providing in-depth coverage of the hottest investment trends before they go mainstream — from the shale oil and gas boom in the United States to the red-hot EV revolution currently underway. Keith and his readers have banked hundreds of winning trades on the 5G rollout and on key advancements in robotics and AI technology.

Keith’s keen trading acumen and investment research also extend all the way into the complex biotech sector, where he and his readers take advantage of the newest and most groundbreaking medical therapies being developed by nearly 1,000 biotech companies. His network includes hundreds of experts, from M.D.s and Ph.D.s to lab scientists grinding out the latest medical technology and treatments. You can join his vast investment community and target the most profitable biotech stocks in Keith’s Topline Trader advisory newsletter.

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