Things are looking up for the mining industry as demand for oil, gas and some minerals is expected to continue on a positive trend this year after making gains last year.
Overall, 2017 was a positive year for the mining industry worldwide, according to Michelin North America Inc.
"Production did not reach historical maximum, but we believe it grew by approximately 5 percent. In the U.S., production of main commodities (especially coal) also increased compared to 2016," said Karl Litzinger, B2B marketing director, off-highway transportation for Michelin.
He said improved commodity prices helped miners recover in 2017, and he predicted prices should remain healthier than the lows they reached in recent years, but nowhere near the peaks during the boom.
"This should result in a continued positive market in 2018. We do not expect a negative trend in 2018," he said.
An increasing number of mining projects, a growing demand for mining vehicles and an expanding vehicle fleet are expected to drive the global mining tire market as well through 2022, according to TechSci Research in its report, "Global Mining Tire Market by Vehicle Type, by Demand Category, by Region, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2012–2022."
The global mining tire market is projected to grow at a rate of nearly 5 percent a year in value terms through 2022 as a result of rising production and sales of mining vehicles on a global level, the report said.
Demand for retreaded mining tires also are expected to increase due to their low cost compared with new tires.
"Reinforcement of mining activities across the globe is the key growth factor of the global mining tire market," said Karan Chechi, research director with TechSci Research. "Moreover, increasing demand for radial tires due to their improved fuel efficiency and reduced wear and tear is expected to further fuel the market in the coming years.
"Besides that, growing technological advancements in the global mining sector are likely to positively influence the global market for mining tires over the next five years," Chechi said.
Industrial metals will remain on an upward trajectory over 2018, according to BMI Research, however noting that "premature optimism over the demand boost from electric vehicles will wind down in the near-term."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts U.S. coal production will drop by about 2 percent this year after increasing 6 percent in 2017 as demand for U.S. coal exports increased.